The bitter feud between footy legend brothers Matthew and Andrew Johns shows no signs of reconciliation, as Matthew’s NRL star son Cooper reveals that no one will be able to mend the rift between the siblings. The heated argument between the brothers erupted earlier this year on live radio when Matthew praised Queensland State of Origin coach Billy Slater. Andrew, a staunch NSW supporter, lashed out at his brother for criticising the Blues team they both represented. Despite efforts by SEN boss Craig Hutchison to smooth things over, the brothers remain on non-speaking terms. Andrew has even quit his Friday morning radio show and is unlikely to return.
In an interview on The Kyle and Jackie O Show, Cooper Johns expressed his skepticism about resolving the feud. When host Kyle Sandilands asked if he could get his father and uncle to put their argument aside, Cooper replied, “I don’t know if anybody could do that, Kyle.” He further revealed that if they were to try and settle their differences on air, Andrew would refuse. The show then contacted Matthew and asked him about the feud spilling over into his radio show now that Andrew no longer appears. “I’m enjoying the break,” Matthew responded. “Both of us hold a pretty good grudge. It’s a little bit like Italian Alzheimer’s – you forget everything except your grudges.”
Earlier this month, Matthew hinted at the possibility of a reunion, stating that plans to catch up with Andrew had been put on hold. He added, “We might see him at Christmas … might.” Matthew also disclosed that he tried to patch things up by reaching out to Andrew on his 49th birthday, but received no response.
However, despite their strained relationship, Andrew remains in contact with Matthew’s sons, Jack and Cooper. In a recent podcast, Jack, who plays for the Knights, confirmed their close bond. Matthew jokingly retorted, “So you’re swapping to the other side, eh Judas? Well, why don’t you all just join in and give me a kicking, like your f***ing uncle, okay? Do you think Joey will give me a call and bury the hatchet? Or do you think this grudge, he’ll carry it on forever? Because I hope he carries it on forever.”
The feud originated when Matthew praised Billy Slater, who led Queensland to a 2-1 series victory in last year’s State of Origin, despite facing a NSW team widely considered to be more talented. Calling Slater ‘close to the best coach in the game,’ Matthew commended the Queensland side’s well-executed game plan and the player’s admiration for their coach. This remark irked Andrew, who exclaimed, “I’m sick of you rapping Queensland.” And since then, tensions have continued to escalate between the brothers, leaving hopes of reconciliation slim.