• Redfern All Blacks Skipper Dean Widders. (Luke Briscoe, Getty Images)Source: Luke Briscoe, Getty Images
Dean Widders who played alongside Chris Sandow in 2008 at South Sydney, the same year Sandow debuted for the club, and says there are privileges and pressures for players in the spotlight.
Hannah Hollis

5 Jan 2017 - 4:23 PM  UPDATED 11 Jan 2017 - 9:21 AM

The former Parramatta halfback who is rumoured to be trying to make a comeback to the NRL may have had his chances at playing first grade cut short, in the wake of a video captured on a mobile phone.

This week footage emerged of Sandow allegedly taking part in a street fight in Queensland on New Years Day, but the facts of the incident including the cause of the fight are yet to be substantiated.

Dean Widders, who played with Sandow, said many people did not understand the makeup of Cherbourg, the town where the incident occurred.

“To get an understanding for it, Cherbourg is a great little town and there are some great people there, but it’s a tough town and in a lot of those tough towns you gotta stand up for yourself as a way or surviving,” Dean Widders told NITV News.

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For 37-year-old Widders, who now works for the NRL in welfare and education, the incident has been disappointing for Sandow, as his actions come as a timely reminder for others in the public eye.

“We need to teach our players, even though we grow up in communities where there’s a lot of issues and dramas and we carry those issues with us throughout our lives, we’ve got to try and rise above it and teach our own mob how to become better.” he said.

“Our players need to understand these days, with the pressure and profile that comes with being a rugby league star, we should be out there using the privilege of it and trying to do better for our communities. Unfortunately for Chris he’s done the right thing for his family but it might hurt him down the track” he added.

That said, Widders isn’t ruling out Sandow’s chances of an NRL return, he says the 27-year-old still has a lot to offer the game he once thrived in.

“A lot of people in the Rugby League world know the kind of guy he is, he’s a hard trainer he’s a great teammate and a real good guy to have around your club,” he said.

“When Chrissy Sando is playing good in a club, everyone is playing good. He’s just that type of fella. If Chrissy's having fun, everyone’s having fun.”