PAUL Gallen has returned fire at rugby league identity Bryan Fletcher for comments the former international made regarding the Cronulla forwards representative return.
Fletcher hit out at Gallen last Thursday when news broke of the star’s comeback for City Origin — despite the Cronulla captain retiring from the representative arena last year.
“I think he’s being selfish playing for City,” Fletcher told Fox Sports last Thursday. “Does he need to play for City to prove himself?
“I’m just thinking of a young kid out there who, this is the last City-Country we’re ever going to have, he can go out and tell his kids he played for City. I think Gal taking this position, I think he’s being selfish.”
But Gallen fired back at Fletcher as part of an interview with Channel Nine journalist Danny Weidler that was aired on Monday’s news bulletin.
The former New South Wales Origin skipper criticised Fletcher for what Gallen says is a personal attack.
“That’s particularly disappointing,” Gallen replied. “He’s got a big platform now he’s on TV most nights, but being a former player, you know he should know how hard the game is and probably not pass judgment so critical like that.
“Especially something so personal. I mean he can judge me on the field, judge me by performances, that’s fine. But calling me selfish is having a crack at me personally.”
The segment was aired on Monday Night with Matty Johns, where Fletcher is a panellist and Fletcher’s regular partner in crime, Nathan Hindmarsh, joined Gallen in criticising the ex-NRL star.
“I thought being a former player, you should have known better. You know how hard it is, the game, and I thought you should have known better,” Hindmarsh said.
“We distance ourselves from your comments.”
But the rugby league funnyman defended his comments in typical comedic fashion.
“I’m on this show for my hard-hitting opinions,” Fletcher explained, to laughter from the studio audience.
“I think I’ve pretty much hit the mark here. Did he (Gallen) say I have a big platform or a bighead?”