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Wests Tigers Head Coach Ivan Cleary spoke to the media today about the decision to stand down Mahe Fonua from Thursday's clash with the Penrith Panthers.

A standout in last week's win over North Queensland, Fonua arrived late to the team's recovery session with Cleary opting to play Kevin Naiqama in the centres in place of the 25-year-old.

And for the Coach, the decision was a simple one to make based on his team-first attitude.

"It's just disappointing," Cleary said. 

"But the standards are what they are and we value certain things around here.

"And that's the way things are going to keep going.

"It's hard in the sense that you always want to pick the side that's playing on its merit. But it's also easy in another sense that, especially when you're getting the support of the leaders, the values come first.

"There's nothing special about us," Cleary added.

"We're just a normal bunch of guys that turn up and down our best.

"What we're trying to do each week is deliver a performance that the fans can be proud of, and you can't do that unless you're consistent in your actions week in and week out.

"Nobody turns up here thinking they're better than anyone else, and that's what we'll keep doing."