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‘Stay staunch’: Spencer Leniu wants to be a Rooster for life to repay the club for racism scandal support

Martin GaborNCA NewsWire
Trent Robinson was one of several Roosters officials there to support Spencer Leniu at the judiciary. Jonathan Ng
Camera IconTrent Robinson was one of several Roosters officials there to support Spencer Leniu at the judiciary. Jonathan Ng Credit: News Corp Australia

Spencer Leniu has declared he wants to be a Rooster for life to thank his club for the support they showed him during the racism scandal and his eight match ban for calling Broncos five-eighth Ezra Mam a “monkey” in Las Vegas.

Leniu was just one game into his Roosters career when he copped the lengthy suspension, with coach Trent Robinson and other club officials joining him at the judiciary for the hearing.

The powerhouse forward said at the time that he didn’t know the term was racist and that he had tried to meet up with Mam in Queensland to apologise, and he accepts he’s going to cop it from Queensland fans in his first State of Origin series.

While he copped plenty of hate online, Leniu was looked after by the Roosters who have stuck by him every step of the way.

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Spencer Leniu à Roosters Judiciary Hearing
Camera IconTrent Robinson was one of several Roosters officials there to support Spencer Leniu at the judiciary. Jonathan Ng Credit: News Corp Australia

“It was pretty tough, but tough times never last,” he said.

“I have to give a massive shout out to the Roosters. Those who know will always know what they did for me. I’m grateful for the time and the effort they put into me because they put their reputation on the line.

“I’ve been playing for the last three weeks, and my mindset was just on repaying what they invested in me.

“I’m grateful to be part of such a prestigious club. I didn’t know too much about the Roosters when I signed, but I definitely know what they’re about now. If it was my choice, I’d love to be a part of the club for life.

“If there was advice I could give young ones coming up, it’d be to know who your circle is.

“When you go through tough times like that, you’ll know really quickly who your circle is. The only opinions that matter are the ones in your circle.

“No one was talking to me for eight weeks except those who were in my circle, and they are only ones who matter. Stay staunch to who you are and what you believe.”

Leniu thought he was no chance of an Origin debut this year given he only had three games to impress Blues selectors once he returned from suspension, but NSW coach Michael Maguire has liked what he’s seen and gave him the good news on the weekend.

“I honestly didn’t think I’d be on Madge’s radar. When I got the call from him I was wondering if he’d called the wrong number,” Leniu said.

“I was just at home watching Ozark on Netflix with my missus. I was so shocked so I didn’t know what to say.”

Former Panthers teammate Isaah Yeo has seen Leniu change the momentum of games with one big carry, and he’s expecting more of the same when the ball of energy is unleashed at Accor Stadium next Wednesday.

“I feel like there’s no front-rower who can turn the tide of a game off the bench like he can,” Yeo said.

“You can feel that he gives everyone a boost of energy when he comes on. He gives everyone a shot of adrenaline with the way he carries the ball when everyone else is tired, and there’s no one else who can do that.”

Originally published as ‘Stay staunch’: Spencer Leniu wants to be a Rooster for life to repay the club for racism scandal support

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