Fresh twist in rape investigation
The NZRU have pledged to fully co-operate with a South African police investigation following a rape allegation agaist one of the Baby Blacks.
The NZRU have pledged to fully co-operate with a South African police investigation following an allegation that a member of its national Under-20 team raped a woman.
NZRU Chief Executive Steve Tew said one player, and possibly also a teammate who was rooming with him, had provided DNA to police investigating the alleged incident.
The allegations were made on Saturday after a 22-year-old Cape Town woman said she was raped on Friday night, following the team's loss to South Africa in the Junior World Championship.
"Both players and management cooperated fully with the authorities in South Africa," Tew told Radio New Zealand.
"We did not leave South Africa until we had their permission to do so and if there's any further assistance they require we'll continue to cooperate fully.
"It's an incredibly serious matter, both for the alleged victim and for the alleged perpetrator," he added.
Tew said the Under-20 team, also known as the Baby Blacks, were given advice on how to behave before travelling to the tournament, where they lost 22-16 to South Africa in the final of the IRB Junior World Championship at Newlands Stadium in Cape Town.
"Our guys get a lot of advice in this area, we have team protocols in place," he said.
"The fact that it appears a young woman was taken to one of the players' bedrooms is a direct breach of that protocol."
South African police spokesman Vish Naidoo said reports in South Africa that four Baby Blacks players were involved in the incident were unfounded.
Naidoo added that media reports that claimed he had said she was drunk weren't true.
"I never said she was drinking," Naidoo said told the SAPA press agency.
"The woman had little or no recollection of what had happened. It is in keeping with a crime of that nature, it can be expected. We are offering her therapy."
AFP and SAPA