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    Waratahs hooker Latu suspended over drunk-drive charge

    2019-05-21 11:06

    Sydney - Apologetic Wallabies hooker Tolu Latu was on Tuesday stood down by the Waratahs after being charged with drunk-driving and failing to tell the club about it.

    The 26-year-old, who was withdrawn from a Wallabies training camp after the news broke late on Saturday, will not play before a court appearance on June 6, meaning he will miss at least two Super Rugby games - against the Jaguares and the Rebels.

    NSW Rugby chief executive Andrew Hore said the organisation was disappointed in Latu, with the incident another headache for a sport still reeling from the Israel Folau scandal.

    "Tolu's actions are a serious breach of the standards we set for the players, coaches and staff both on and off the field," Hore said in a statement after Latu met with Rugby Australia's integrity unit.

    "He is regretful of his actions and has taken full responsibility, and Waratahs will provide him with the necessary support and further education."

    The hooker was reportedly found slumped behind the wheel of a car in the early hours of Thursday morning in Sydney, with his club only learning about it when contacted by the media on Saturday.

    "I'm disappointed with my actions, because I recognise the seriousness of this situation," Latu, who has played 12 Tests, said in the same statement.

    "I want to apologise to my team-mates and New South Wales Rugby Union. I also want to apologise to the rugby community, I know that my actions do not reflect well on the game."

    Latu, who only returned last weekend from a six-week suspension for dangerous play, said he accepted full responsibility and "any potential sanctions from my court case".

    "I also recognise I should have spoken to the coach earlier," he added.

    It is a double blow for the Waratahs, who have also lost the services of star fullback Folau, who was sacked on Monday for posting homophobic comments on social media.

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