NZRL apologises for shock RLWC player comments

The New Zealand Rugby League has apologised over disappointing comments made by a number of star players after the Kiwi's disappointing World Cup exit.

Captain Adam Blair, coach David Kidwell and star playmaker Shaun Johnson all faced criticism over comments they made after their side's loss to Fiji.

Johnson was the most outspoken, suggesting those who criticised the team throughout the World Cup campaign, 'got their way'.

NZRL chairman Reon Edwards has since come out on radio, saying those comments were inappropriate.

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Shaun Johnson was shattered in the aftermath of the Kiwi's loss. Pic: Getty

"I’d like to apologise to the league fans out there. I don’t think it was necessary or appropriate to make those comments,” Edwards told Radio Sport.

"Our league fans wear their heart on their sleeve and they have every right to be disappointed and upset about that result."

Johnson himself later took to Facebook to apologise to Kiwi fans about his comments, saying he was interviewed at an emotional time.

“Over the last couple days I’ve seen the reaction and what’s been said so I have to set the record straight,” Johnson wrote.

“We are responsible for the two good performances and we are responsible for the two poor ones. No one else!

“We own that and have to live with the disappointment and embarrassment of being part of the worst Kiwis team in RLWC history for the rest of our lives.

“Immediately following the loss to Fiji I was told I had media.

“Rattled from what had just happened I said something that came across completely wrong, implying that the fans are to blame for how we played and that they would be satisfied. I f***ed up.

“Anyone who knows me knows that’s not and never will be me. I take full responsibility for my performances good or bad.”

Johnson's Facebook post. Pic: Facebook

Edwards said he felt sick about the Kiwi's World Cup efforts, which finished with back-to-back losses to both Tonga and Fiji.

"It’s a huge setback in terms of our plans for the Kiwis ... we just need to go back to the drawing board," he said.

Meanwhile, the chairman was less vocal about the future of under-fire coach Kidwell, saying only the team needed "the best possible coach" for the future.