MELBOURNE (Reuters) – Australia loose forward Lukhan Tui has confirmed he is unavailable for selection for their season-ending tour, citing a need to put his family first in the wake of his stepfather’s death.
The flanker missed the last two games of the Rugby Championship after clashing with a fan in the wake of the Wallabies’ 23-19 loss to Argentina on the Gold Coast.
The altercation came days after the sudden death of his stepfather, who Tui was close to.
“Stepping away from the game of rugby for the remainder of the year is a decision that is for my siblings and for my Mum,” he wrote in a social media post.
“Rugby will always be there and at the end of the day it is only just a game.
“1 month ago my family and I lost our Dad. He raised my siblings and I to be the people we are today and set the perfect example that we live by.”
Tui added that he would be back playing for Super Rugby’s Queensland Reds in 2019 and hoped to be called up to the Wallabies again.
Australia finished third in the Rugby Championship after winning their last match against the Pumas in Salta.
They next face the tournament’s champions New Zealand in the third and final match of the Bledisloe Cup in Yokohama, a dead rubber after the All Blacks won the opening games in Sydney and Auckland.
Michael Cheika’s side then head to Europe for tests against Wales, Italy and England.
(Reporting by Ian Ransom; Editing by Peter Rutherford)