Highlanders management have announced that they will issue sanctions to the players involved in a drunken night in Queenstown, that led to damaged property and the arrest of a 24-year-old man.
In a statement on Monday, Highlanders CEO Roger Clark said a group of seven Highlanders players would face action for behaving “well below the standards” set by the team.
Clark had earlier called for a “thorough investigation” following a Herald on Sunday report that partying players from the Super Rugby franchise had caused damage to an apartment complex they were staying in over the weekend, leaving guests feeling intimidated and one man in police custody.
Police confirmed a 24-year-old – who is not a Highlanders player – had been arrested after a call-out to The Glebe Apartments about 4am on Saturday.
“From our investigation, we can confirm that no damage at the apartments was caused by any Highlanders player. We can also confirm that no Highlanders player is facing any action from the police,” Clark said.
“Having said that, we’re extremely disappointed that some of our players’ antisocial behaviour forced guests to endure a disturbed night. As a club we apologise unreservedly to those guests involved.”
According to Clark, the Highlanders players were joined at their apartment on Friday night by a group of people some of whom they had only met earlier in the evening.
“Glebe management received multiple complaints about noise from the apartment during the night. Police were subsequently called and arrested a man and charged him with wilful damage and disorderly behaviour.”
Clark said the club had contacted the Glebe Apartment General Manager and had apologised for the issues caused.
“For the Glebe management and police to be called demonstrates a clear lack of respect for others and this is well below the standards we expect from our players whether assembled as a team or enjoying downtime together,” he said.
“Our messaging to the players is very clear: you are always a Highlander and as such we expect good behavior at all times. Now that the matter has been investigated the players involved will be sanctioned by the club and the entire team will be reminded of their responsibilities around behaviour.”
On the pitch, the Highlanders have defied expectations this Super Rugby Aotearoa season, winning two of their five matches.
They were given the chance to put their feet up last weekend as they enjoyed a bye from the competition after a thrilling 33-31 win over the Chiefs in Hamilton last time out.
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