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AFL star Cyril Rioli rejects Hawthorn Hawks invitation for Darwin match

Bitter footy feud deepens as AFL star who suddenly retired after Hawthorn president ‘made a comment about his wife’s outfit’ snubs his old club

  • Hawthorn Hawks star Cyril Rioli retired from AFL in a shock move in 2018
  • Reports suggested it was due to a comment club president Jeff Kennett made
  • Kennett reportedly made a joke about Rioli’s wife’s jeans at Launceston Airport
  • Rioli turned down an invitation to attend Hawthorn match in Darwin this week

AFL star Cyril Rioli has rejected an invitation from his old team Hawthorn to attend a special match in Darwin this weekend – three years after he reportedly fell out with the club president over a comment made about his wife.

The four-time premiership forward suddenly retired in 2018 sending the rumour mill into overdrive that he’d fallen out with the club.

The Hawks are heading to the Top End this weekend to play the Sir Doug Nicholls Round against the Gold Coast but Rioli, who lives in Darwin, is unlikely to attend the game and cheer on his former teammates, SEN reported.

In 2018, club president Jeff Kennett reportedly made a joke about Rioli’s wife Shannyn’s ripped jeans while at an airport in Launceston.

AFL star Cyril Rioli has rejected an invitation from his old team Hawthorn to attend a special match in Darwin this weekend – three years after he reportedly fell out with the club president over a comment made about his wife (Rioli pictured with wife Shannyn)

Shannyn is believed to have taken offence to the remark and Kennett later apologised.

Rioli played his last game for the Hawks in round four in 2018 before suffering a knee injury.

He was due to make a return later in the season but flew home to Darwin and announced his retirement.

In another shock move, Rioli pulled out of the 2008 premiership team’s ten-year reunion at the last minute further raising eyebrows if he left the club on bad terms.

In 2018, club president Jeff Kennett reportedly made a joke about Rioli's wife Shannyn's jeans while at an airport in Launceston. He later apologised

In 2018, club president Jeff Kennett reportedly made a joke about Rioli’s wife Shannyn’s jeans while at an airport in Launceston. He later apologised

Rioli said his retirement came after his father’s heart attack, and said he had ‘missed home (in Darwin) a lot’.

‘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 in a piece 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.

‘People don’t know what goes on behind the scenes. My decision to retire at age 28 may have surprised some, but it was coming for a while.’

He added he left the Hawks in a ‘good place’.  

Rioli is still a much-loved player by Hawthorn supporters after his ten-year stint with the club.

The club are hopeful he will change his mind and make an appearance at Darwin’s TIO Stadium this weekend. 

Rioli retired from the sport in 2018, shocking many Hawthorn supporters

Rioli retired from the sport in 2018, shocking many Hawthorn supporters

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