NZ player stood down after rape charge
NEWS: A Mid Canterbury Union player has been stood down after he was charged with assault with intent to commit rape following an alleged incident after a game in Gisborne earlier in October.
According to the New Zealand Herald a player in his 20s was arrested on October 2. It is understood the alleged incident occurred the day after Mid Canterbury played East Coast in Ruatoria.
"As soon as we became aware of the charge, MCRFU took advice and immediately put in place all responsible steps to manage the situation including standing the player down from our playing environment and ensuring he had appropriate support in place given the various interests that have to be taken into account in a situation like this," said Mid Canterbury Rugby Union Chief Executive Ian Patterson.
"Nothing further can be said in light of the court order suppressing all details."
New Zealand Rugby Chief Executive Steve Tew said that they are aware of the allegation.
"A court suppression order is in place and we are not able to comment further at this stage," said Tew.
"However, New Zealand Rugby will continue to monitor this situation closely."
This new allegation is the latest off-field issue to plague NZ Rugby recently.
Last month, New Zealand Rugby officials terminated the contract of teenage star Losi Filipo who viciously assaulted four people including two women, following a public outcry after he escaped conviction.
Last week, All Black scrumhalf Aaron Smith was slapped with a one-match ban for 'breaching team standards'.
Coach Steve Hansen said the player was seen by "entering a disabled toilet cubicle with a female friend" at the Christchurch airport the day after New Zealand's 41-13 Rugby Championship win over South Africa in Christchurch last month.
In September, Chiefs players were cleared after an investigation into allegations a stripper was sexually assaulted at a function after their Super Rugby campaign.
Additional Sources: New Zealand Herald & Newstalk