John Asiata provides fitness update as Leigh forward reveals abuse directed at family

John Asiata, Leigh Leopards

Leigh Leopards captain John Asiata has revealed he hopes to return to action within the next fortnight – before urging people to aim any abuse over his controversial tackle technique at aim, rather than his family.

Asiata is currently sidelined with a calf problem, but appeared on Sky Sports in the run-up to the Leopards‘ clash with local rivals Wigan Warriors on Thursday night to reveal he is well on the way to a return to full fitness.

He said: “I’m in a really good place at the moment. I’m hoping in the next couple of weeks as long as there’s no hiccups along the way, I should be fine.”

However, Asiata also lifted the lid once again on how his family have taken some of the brunt of the abuse over allegations his tackle technique is dangerous.

After the Challenge Cup semi-final victory over St Helens last year, Asiata told Love Rugby League: “It’s been tough for my family, that’s the main thing. I can handle abuse and the things that come with social media, but even I’ve stayed away from it over the past week or so.

“It’s more my family, they see what’s going on and I’m worried for them. But I believe in God and I give my worries to him and he helps me through it. I trust in God that everything happens for a reason, it’s not to put me down but make me stronger.”

And he once again revealed on Sky on Thursday night how while he can handle any suggestions of the validity of his technique, he hopes those questioning it will aim any abuse at him, rather than his family.

He said: “I think for me, it’s not about me. It’s always about my family and what they cop on what I’ve done. I love the game, I play the game as hard as I can, I don’t go in there 50-50 and I give everything I can to it.

“For me to be able to play the game I love and get criticised on certain things, I understand where people are coming from. But don’t attack my family, attack me.”

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