Dragons star praised for ‘seeking help’

Jacqui Lafai, the wife of NRL player Tim Lafai, has revealed her husband’s struggle with mental health after Friday’s alleged domestic incident.

Dragons centre Lafai was issued with an apprehended violence order over an alleged domestic dispute at his family home south of Wollongong on Good Friday. Neighbours reportedly called police to attend the scene after hearing loud noises from the house.

A family member reportedly told police Lafai was allegedly “smashing up his house” and punching walls with his fists. Police will reportedly allege he was spotted at the scene with blood on his knuckles.

Police allege Jacqui said the pair had argued, but there’s no suggestion Lafai had been violent towards his wife or four children.

On Sunday, foxsports.com.au reported Lafai had admitted himself to hospital seeking assessment and support for his mental health.

Four days after the incident, Jacqui posted a heartfelt message to Instagram, praising her husband for “seeking help” amid his battle with mental health issues. She also labelled him as a “loving husband” and “patient father”.

“Thanks for all the messages of support that Timmy and I have received over Easter,” she captained the post.

“I feel it’s important that everyone understands that this is a mental health issue and has nothing to do with domestic violence.

“The police and ambulance came only for Tim’s safety and welfare. He is a loving husband, and wonderful and patient father to our beautiful babies.

“I am so proud of him for seeking help despite knowing this would cause him personal pain and media scrutiny. He did that because he put his family first.

“It hurts us all to see the media community attack him when he was at his most vulnerable. Perhaps that is why it has taken him so long to confront his mental health wellbeing and reach out for professional support.

“He is in the right place and will be home with us in no time.

“Once again, thank you so much to everyone for your support and kind words.”

Tim Lafai (pictured left) has scored 48 tries in the NRL.Source:News Corp Australia

On Sunday, the Dragons confirmed the NRL integrity unit had been made aware of the incident.

“St George Illawarra are aware of a police matter involving Dragons centre Tim Lafai,” the club said in a statement.

“The NRL integrity unit have been informed. As this is a deeply personal and private matter, at this stage the Dragons will be making no further comment.”

Lafai has made 163 NRL appearances since making his first grade debut for the Canterbury Bulldogs in 2011. The 28-year-old Samoan has also played 12 Test matches since his international debut against Papua New Guinea in 2013.

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