Sport

'Fro to go

Matt King tackles Manu Vatuvei during a Rabbitohs versus Warriors clash.
Matt King tackles Manu Vatuvei during a Rabbitohs versus Warriors clash. Trevor Veale

THE last time Rabbitohs co-captain Matt King shaved off his famous afro, he thought it would help him play better.
Four years on, he's doing it again, only this time it's to help others.

King revealed he shaved it off in England to hide from fans of English Super League club, the Warrington Wolves.

The Australian and New South Wales representative had just signed for Warrington from the Melbourne Storm and "wasn't playing well".

He thought fans wouldn't recognise him with out the afro - unfortunately for King they did and he said he copped it.

"Warrington were really struggling and they were far from impressed with me - I was supposed to be a star," the former Casino junior said.

"To be honest, it was a horrible time. I was really struggling with form and getting to grips with my new life in England - arriving in the middle of a cold and bleak winter didn't help either.

"I didn't see the sun for months. I hated being there and I can tell you there were times when I seriously thought about quitting."

But King has never been a quitter, waiting until he was 23 to make his NRL debut proved that, and he buckled down.

He grew the fro back, started to hit his straps and the fans started to cheer him rather than boo especially after King helped them win two Challenge Cup titles in his four years with the club.

The 31-year-old headed home with his afro in tow last year, signing a two-year deal with Souths, but has now booked a date with the clippers next month to help raise funds to assist parents of children with Down Syndrome.

He and teammates Dave Tyrrell and Chris McQueen will lose their locks on Channel Nine's The Footy Show after six weeks of fundraising.

The last time King had a haircut was in 2010 and he said it was the least he could do.

"Down Syndrome NSW are the true champions in this case - the work they do for people affected by Down Syndrome is inspiring and they deserve all the praise," King said.

As for South's form this year, King said the team had been like everyone expect Melbourne - too inconsistent.

Now 31, King has played nine times for NSW. Would he like to do it again?

"I'd love to, but at this stage I just want to do my best for Souths," he said

Topics:  matt king nrl rabbitohs


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