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Wood keeps focus amid off-field turmoil

Wood keeps focus amid off-field turmoil
By PA Sport

09/01/2013 at 00:02Updated 09/01/2013 at 00:16

Warrington forward Paul Wood, dubbed the world's toughest athlete after playing on in the Grand Final with a ruptured testicle, demonstrated more bravery on Tuesday when he fronted the media over shocking revelations about his private life.

Wood, who opened up about his obsessive compulsive disorder in the build-up to the Challenge Cup final last summer, made the news in the aftermath of October's Super League title decider when he had to have a testicle removed following injury in the defeat by Leeds.

And the 31-year-old prop hit the headlines last week when he was alleged to have left his wife Shelley and two young children to move in with local celebrity Holly Henderson, who used to date Manchester City footballer Mario Balotelli. Wood might have been forgiven for adopting a low profile at the Wolves' pre-season media day, but he said: "I thought I'd face the music. I've nothing to hide."

He continued: "There's been some truth in the papers and there's been some lies as well, but I'm not going to broadcast my personal life. I'll leave it as it is. The people who are close to me know exactly what's gone on and they're the people that count."

Wood was a little more forthcoming over the injury that brought him worldwide fame.

The tough-tackling forward played on for 20 minutes after accidentally being kneed in the groin by Leeds centre Kallum Watkins at the start of the second half of the Grand Final.

He made no mention of the injury in post-match interviews but was subsequently taken to hospital for surgery to have the testicle removed and later made light of his misfortune, tweeting: "Just coming out of hospital to go home...Seriously feel like I've left something?".

The tweet soon went viral and, for the first time in a 13-year career at the highest level of domestic rugby league, Wood was a man in demand.

"The reaction was absolutely unbelievable - everyone wanted to talk to me," he said. "The weirdest thing was seeing my story come up as a question on The Million Pound Drop with Davina McCall.

"It was good for rugby league. It's probably had more coverage than anything else over the last few years. Someone told me I was among the five best sporting moments of the year in a magazine so again it's just good for rugby league, that people appreciate how hard the game is."