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Lauaki Involved In Off-Field "Incident"

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media
Lauaki Involved In Off-Field "Incident"

Wellington, March 5 NZPA - All Blacks forward Sione Lauaki has been involved in an off-field incident this morning which is being investigated by the Chiefs Super 14 rugby franchise and police.

A short statement today from Chiefs chief executive Gary Dawson said police were investigating the incident and he would not comment further until that investigation was complete.

"We are aware of an incident involving Sione Lauaki," Dawson said.

"We are currently awaiting for the Hamilton Police to decide on what action, if any, they will take on this. Until we have further details from the police, we cannot make further comment."

Senior Sergeant Greg Dunn said the incident took place at a central city bar in the early hours of the morning and that nobody was subsequently arrested. However, he said a "28-year-old professional rugby player" had voluntarily returned to the Hamilton Central police station to be interviewed.

"The complainant is still to be formally interviewed at this stage and it is too early to say what if any charges may result from that," Senior Sergeant Dunn said in a statement.

The career of powerful No 8 Lauaki, who has played 17 tests since 2005, has been marked by errant behaviour off the field.

Last year the 28-year-old underwent an anger management course after appearing in court on a charge of wilful damage. He was arrested on a charge of damaging three windows and a television at a motel in Auckland on New Year's Day.

In 2006, he was offered police diversion after admitting assaulting a Hamilton security officer and later that year hit a rival player following an argument outside a bar.

Tongan-born Lauaki has been out of favour with the All Blacks selectors since 2008 but has been a key member of the Chiefs, for whom he has played 66 Super rugby matches.

Chiefs coach Ian Foster raised eyebrows when he named Lauaki captain for the team's first three matches this season in the absence of usual skipper Mils Muliaina.

However, injury ruled him out of the first match and he is currently undergoing a two-match suspension for a dangerous tackle during their second match, the 72-65 defeat of the Lions in Johannesburg last month.

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