Disgraced Smith sits out Bledisloe clash
NEWS: All Black scrumhalf Aaron Smith has voluntarily stood down from Saturday's Bledisloe Cup tie with Australia in the wake of his toilet tryst scandal, New Zealand Rugby said Monday.
NZR said Smith offered to sit out the blockbuster tie against the Wallabies in Auckland at a disciplinary hearing into his conduct.
The 54-Test veteran was also issued with a formal warning over the incident last month, when he entered a disabled toilet cubicle with a woman at busy Christchurch Airport the day after the Test against South Africa.
NZR said Smith's action was "serious misconduct" that affected the reputation of the All Blacks and their commercial partners.
"Aaron presented himself as genuine, honest and incredibly remorseful," it said in a statement.
"We have also taken into account the fact that the very public nature of this incident has had a significant impact on him personally."
The Auckland Test will be the second Smith has missed over the scandal after he was suspended from this month's match against South Africa in Durban.
Smith made no comment in the NZR statement but offered a tearful apology earlier this month, saying the liaison with the mystery woman was a "huge mistake". He will also forfeit his selection fees.
NZR said the player was "committed to getting the support he needs to deal with personal issues and to work on his relationship with his partner".