LIVE

    Mo'unga, Bridge named in Cape Town abuse incidents

    2019-05-21 07:36

    Wellington - New Zealand Rugby (NZR) launched an independent inquiry on Tuesday into allegations Crusaders players engaged in homophobic abuse and groped a woman during their recent trip to South Africa.

    NZR chief rugby officer Nigel Cass described the allegations as "very serious" and said a lawyer had been engaged to investigate them.

    "These allegations are about abuse, inappropriate and offensive behaviour, and we do not tolerate this," he said, noting that the players involved strongly disputed the claims.

    One incident allegedly involved a group linked to the Crusaders - including at least one player - making homophobic and threatening remarks at a Cape Town fast food restaurant late on Saturday after the Super Rugby side's 19-19 draw with the Stormers.

    The other reportedly took place a week earlier in the same city, when another player is accused of spitting beer on a woman in a bar then pinching her bottom.

    Media reports in New Zealand named the player in the bar as flyhalf Richie Mo'unga, while Crusaders coach Scott Robertson told reporters that wing George Bridge was one of those in the restaurant.

    Robertson told reporters the incident was "a selfie gone wrong" and Bridge was insistent there was no homophobic behaviour.

    Mo'unga, 24, has played nine Tests and is widely tipped to be part of the All Blacks' Rugby World Cup squad as back up to Beauden Barrett.

    Bridge, 23, is a fringe international who has played one Test, against Japan last year.

    Crusaders chief executive Colin Mansbridge, who on Monday expressed confidence there had been no wrongdoing, said the players were distraught.

    Cass said the accusations would be investigated "without prejudice or assumptions", with all involved, including alleged victims, asked to give their versions of events.

    He said the investigation would be finished as soon as possible. 

    The sport's attitude towards gay people is under the spotlight after Rugby Australia sacked star Wallabies Israel Folau over homophobic social media posts.

    Read News24’s Comments Policy

    Live Video Streaming
    Video Highlights
    Sport Talk
    Breaking News

    Fixtures

    Friday, 21 June 2019
    • Crusaders v Highlanders, Christchurch Stadium 09:35
    Saturday, 22 June 2019
    • Jaguares v Chiefs, Estadio Jose Amalfitani 00:05
    • Hurricanes v Bulls, Westpac Stadium 09:35
    • Brumbies v Sharks, GIO Stadium 12:05
    Friday, 28 June 2019
    • TBC v TBC, TBC 14:00

    Results

    15 June 2019
    14 June 2019
    08 June 2019
    07 June 2019
    01 June 2019
    31 May 2019
    25 May 2019
    24 May 2019
    18 May 2019
    17 May 2019
    12 May 2019
    11 May 2019
    10 May 2019
    04 May 2019
    03 May 2019
    27 April 2019
    26 April 2019
    20 April 2019
    19 April 2019
    13 April 2019
    12 April 2019
    06 April 2019
    05 April 2019
    30 March 2019
    29 March 2019
    24 March 2019
    23 March 2019
    22 March 2019
    16 March 2019
    15 March 2019
    09 March 2019
    08 March 2019
    02 March 2019
    01 March 2019
    23 February 2019
    22 February 2019
    16 February 2019
    15 February 2019

    Logs

    Rank Team P W Pts
    • Jaguares (Q)
    • Bulls (wc)
    • Sharks (wc)
    • Lions
    • Stormers

    Opinion Poll

    Which Super Rugby quarter-final are you most looking forward to?

    Can you name the top Super Rugby tryscorers of all-time?

    TAKE THE QUIZ
    There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.