Johns reveals hidden side of Roos biff bro Munster
OPINIONS will be split on Melbourne dynamo Cameron Munster after his latest off-field indiscretion came to light on Monday.
Fox Sports' chief NRL reporter James Hooper broke the news Munster had been sent home from Australian camp for punching on with Kangaroos teammate Ben Hunt during the World Cup.
That incident follows his whack from Queensland coach Kevin Walters two years ago for breaking curfew during an Emerging Maroons camp. He was exiled from Origin selection that season.
And for all his natural talent on the footy field, many are saying his rugby league career is under threat from his tendency to land in hot water while on the beers.
But one of Munster's mentors actually believes his larrikin personality is benefiting the Storm in a roundabout way.
Matty Johns - who has worked closely with Munster - says the 23-year-old is exactly what Craig Bellamy needs in Melbourne.
"I've gotten to know Cameron Munster well ... I love the bloke. I've never had an ounce of trouble when I've been around him at all. Very respectful," Johns told Triple M's Grill Team on Tuesday.
"He's an effervescent character, he certainly is. He likes a beer, there's no doubt about that. He's a kid who really enjoys a good time.
"In the past I've heard him described as very good for Melbourne, because all those Melbourne blokes are very disciplined, whereas he's a little bit out of the box.
"He's a little bit of a throwback, he's not like a modern footballer. Luckily he's got the ability to turn it on and off.
"Why he's able to do this is because he goes back to Rockhampton and has a good time with his mates, enjoys a beer, enjoys life, then he has to go back to Melbourne where they absolutely get drilled.
"They train harder than anyone else in the league, probably as hard as anyone in Australian sport.
"I saw them train Saturday morning and guess what? He was at the front of all fitness runs."
Munster has already played 65 games for Melbourne and has been thrown between fullback, centre and in the halves, such is his natural footballing ability.
Last year he made his debut for Queensland and then Australia, and won an NRL premiership with the Storm in between.
Johns likened Munster to the former's famous brother and eighth Immortal Andrew Johns, who notoriously liked to party while still being regarded as one of the greatest players in history.
"I always used to say to young players who admired my brother Andrew ... Andrew enjoys a good time and he goes out and has a beer, but what you don't see is what he does the next day," Johns said.
"While you're out with him having a beer and having a good time guess what he does? He sets his alarm for 7.30 in the morning and he's down at the field doing four kilometres running, flogging himself.
"That's the balance. If you enjoy a beer that's great, but you have to have the balance, and being at Melbourne Munster has the balance."
Munster's altercation with Hunt certainly isn't the first time teammates have come to blows while on tour.
League legend Mark Geyer told Triple M's Rush Hour how a number of Kangaroos players almost punched on during a tour 30 years ago.
"It happened to us on the 1990 Kangaroo tour. A bit of a Royal Rumble," Geyer explained.
"After two months in England you can imagine we were pretty relieved to get to France because we'd been beaten in the first Test, a big upset.
"So we got over to France with our tails between our legs and we went to a wine vineyard so what could go wrong? So we were there for about two or three hours and we decided to have a forwards versus backs skirmish with each other.
"But it was getting very intense and when you've got blokes like Blocker (Steve Roach) and Sirro (Paul Sironen) and (David) Gillespie.
"It got really fiery because by this stage we wanted to come home, but it got a little but spiteful at one stage.
"Mal Meninga took his shirt off and got serious so we all just said OK let's get on the bus and go home."