Hawthorn champion Cyril Rioli to snub club after falling out over wife crack

Hawthorn champion Cyril Rioli will reportedly snub his club’s official invitation to attend a match in Darwin this weekend after a comment made about his wife Sharryn.

Rioli famously retired unexpectedly in 2018 at the age of 28 amid reports of a bitter falling out with president Jeff Kennett.

Reports emerged in 2018 Sharryn had wanted to leave Melbourne and return to Darwin for some time before Kennett is reported to have made a joke.

Kennett is reported to have made a crack about Sharryn’s fashionably torn jeans at Launceston Airport.

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The Footy Show reported at the time “she did take offence to it”. Kennett then apologised for the remark.

Having suffered a serious knee injury that month, Hawks premiership-winner Rioli returned to Darwin immediately following his retirement announcement.

Hawthorn president Jeff Kennett congratulates Cyril Rioli. Pic: Michael KleinSource:News Corp Australia

SEN now reports Rioli has knocked back an invitation to attend the club’s Sir Doug Nicholls Round match in Darwin — the club’s first trip to play an AFL match in the Top End.

The report indicates Hawthorn is hopeful Rioli will have a change of heart.

Rioli also skipped the club’s 2008 premiership 10-year reunion in 2018 as a last-minute withdrawal and was the only player that didn’t attend.

July 06, 2018. Hawks coach Alastair Clarkson talks about Cyril Rioli’s decision to retire, his father’s illness and family commitments. Clarkson says the decision of Rioli’s t…

July 06, 2018. Hawks coach Alastair Clarkson talks about Cyril Rioli’s decision to retire, his father’s illness and family commitments. Clarkson says the decision of Rioli’s to retire was something the club was prepared for. Video by Jason Phelan. (AAP VIDEO/Alex Murray)

Rioli has never confirmed if Kennett’s comment was a motivation for his decision to retire and return to Darwin, but wrote in a column at the time that he wanted to return home after his father suffered a heart attack the previous year.

“Dad had a heart attack in September last year. That was probably when I truly lost the desire to keep playing AFL footy,” he wrote for Athletes Voice.

“It was very upsetting. I’ll always remember the missed calls from dad’s partner, Dayna, while I was so far away from home.

“I left the Hawks in a good place. They had a terrific season, making finals. It’s good to see another family member – West Coast’s Willie Rioli, my cousin – in a Grand Final, too.”

He returned to football in 2019 as an assistant coach to the Tiwi Island’s NTFL Men’s Premier League team.

The Sir Doug Nicholls Round is the AFL’s annual round recognising and celebrating Indigenous players and culture.

2015 Brownlow medal. Cyril and Shannyn Rioli . Pic: Michael Klein.Source:News Corp Australia

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