12 Apr 2012

Sport: All Black concedes criticism of his fitness is warranted

10:56 am on 12 April 2012

The All Black and Blues halfback Piri Weepu says criticism of his fitness by captain Keven Mealamu is fair.

Mealamu's criticised Weepu for being overweight and expressed disappointment at Weepu's on field contributions in this season's super rugby competition.

Weepu joined the Blues from the Hurricanes this season with the Auckland based team having secured just one win this year.

But Weepu doesn't believe he's lost the respect of his team-mates.

"Not at all. I don't think I have. We're a tight bunch of boys. People can say the way the season is going there's crack but we're tight. We're a solid team and I don't think there's any respect lost at all. I'm disappointed in the way I came back and I am continually moving forward and working away at that."

Meanwhile, the Auckland rugby union chief executive Andy Dalton says racially motivated criticism of the Blues coach Pat Lam for their poor season is ugly and gutless.

The Blues have won just one of their six Super rugby matches so far season, prompting comments on social media sites and talkback radio that Lam's Polynesian background is to blame.

Lam broke down in tears yesterday as he spoke of the racial abuse he and and his family have been subjected to.

Dalton says while they can accept criticism on rugby matters the racial abuse has to stop.

Its ugly and its faceless. Its gutless but its out there and in these open forums we have these days its a sad commentary of some , admittedly very small, aspects of out society.

The Auckland rugby union chief executive Andy Dalton.