There is currently a very troubling story circulating in the rugby league rumour mill that the Canberra Raiders are interested in signing Robert Lui.
As a Raiders fan I honestly can’t think of a player in the NRL that I am less interested in bringing to the club. Not just because he’s a mediocre player (more on that below) but because of his terrible off field history.
The story is well known. In 2012 Lui plead guilty to assaulting his then girlfriend and now mother of his child after the Wests Tigers (his then team) end of season celebrations: the horribly appropriately named ‘Mad Monday.’
Lui – who had by then moved to the Cowboys – was suspended by the NRL for the remainder of the 2012 season. Though reasonable people can wonder why he was even allowed to play between the time when he was charged and when his case came before the court.
Lui spent the subsequent two seasons at the Cowboys but now the Raiders are allegedly interested in bringing him to Canberra.
Here’s the thing though, not only is Lui not the sort of person I want on the Raiders he’s also not an especially good player either. Lui is currently coming off the bench to play dummy half for the Cowboys after falling behind Ray Thompson in the halves pecking order. Yes, that Ray Thompson. Lui has a solid kicking game but overall he is a pedestrian playmaker and his defense is so appalling that he makes Johnathon Thurston look good.
Meanwhile the Raiders just extended Josh McCrone for a further two years so the team already has its full complement of jack of all trades, master of none journeymen. McCrone will no doubt spend time over the next two seasons playing in jerseys, 6, 7, 9 and 14 and he already knows the Raiders system. So why would the club want to bring in another utility in that style?
As a person Lui is not without his defenders. Members of the Cowboys hierarchy have tried to suggest that he is much changed and that his relationship with his baby mama is “complicated.”
Regardless of any complicated relationship and regardless of any change in Lui’s behavior as a father of two daughters – but really just as a human being – i don’t want this individual associated with my club
It may be grim times for the Raiders in the recruitment market (http://www.theroar.com.au/2014/06/05/cant-recruit-cant-retain-grim-times-raiders-fans/) but surely the club doesn’t have to stoop that low.
On the field and off the field Robert Lui is not the sort of player or person the Raiders need to rebuild the club.
Read more of Lachlan’s stuff regularly on The Roar and follow him on twitter @mrsports83