All Blacks star Shannon Frizell apologises over alleged assault
The 27-year-old loose forward appeared in the Dunedin District Court on Tuesday where he faced two charges of male assaults female and one of common assault.
Frizell did not enter a plea and was offered a diversion by the judge after defence counsel Anne Stevens QC asked for the case to be adjourned due to the fact her client was a first-time offender.
In order to get diversion, and therefore avoid conviction, Frizell will be required to adhere to conditions set out by police, which could include restorative justice meetings, reparation payments or voluntary work.
The alleged incident took place at Vault 21, a popular bar/restaurant in the centre of Dunedin, two months ago.
Police later confirmed that they were investigating an incident at Vault 21 and said a rugby player “of significance” was involved.
Frizell, who has played 15 tests for the All Blacks since his international debut in 2018, issued an apology to “the people involved, my family, friends and the wider community” when he emerged from the court.
“I would like to take this opportunity to say how very sorry I am for my behaviour during the incident in May this year,” he told reporters.
“I would especially like to say sorry to the people involved and the harm I have caused.
“I am very grateful for all the opportunity I’ve had and I won’t take them for granted.
“I let myself and others down, and will now try to do everything I can to restore people’s faith in me.
“I have already put a plan in place with counsellors to help me address areas I want to work on.
“Once again, I’d like to apologise to the people involved, my family, my friends and the wider community.”
Frizell was later granted bail and ordered not to contact either complainant or consume alcohol until his next court appearance in September.
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