Rugby

Police extend detention of 3 rape accused

2017-03-23 14:40

Bordeaux - French police investigating a rape allegation on Thursday extended by 24 hours the detention of three of the six Grenoble rugby players held overnight.

Six players including two Irishmen, two New Zealanders and a former Australian international were brought in for questioning Wednesday after a young woman alleged that they raped her after she met them at a nightclub in Bordeaux following their Top 14 defeat by Bordeaux-Begles on March 11.

She filed a complaint the following day.

The six players were named as Australian lock Peter Kimlin, 31, capped twice by his country; 22-year-old prop Denis Coulson and 24-year-old centre Chris Farrell, both from Ireland; New Zealand back rowers Rory Grice, 26, and Dylan Hayes, 23; and French hooker Loick Jammes, 22.

Bordeaux prosecutors said the decision to extend the detention of three players - Coulson, Grice and Jammes - followed initial interviews. Kimlin, Hayes and Farrell were released.

Kimlin took to Twitter late on Wednesday to clarify his position.

"I'm finally home after a long day helping the police with their investigation," he said. "I want to clarify that I wasn't arrested. I was purely at the police station to help establish a timeline."

Kimlin's lawyer Aurelia Mennessier added: "He's out free. To our knowledge, there's no charge against him.

"He wants to be publicly exonerated so this affair harms neither his personal life of professional career."

Similar demands were made by lawyers representing Hayes and Farrell.

Grenoble, struggling to avoid relegation from the elite Top 14 division, last week fired the players who were under investigation - without releasing their identities.

But Kimlin tweeted that he had not been sacked, and Hayes' lawyer Arnaud Lucien said the Kiwi player's "sole desire is to get back to the club and play rugby".

Last week the club also sacked Irish coach Bernard Jackman in response to disappointing on-field performances.

Grenoble rebounded to record a thrilling 23-all draw against giants Toulon on the weekend, a result players described as being like a victory given current circumstances.

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