Report: All Blacks star Shannon Frizell charged over alleged assault
According to a report from the Otago Daily Times, the 27-year-old loose forward will appear in the Dunedin District Court on Tuesday on two alleged offences of assault on a female and one of common assault.
The alleged incident took place at Vault 21, a popular bar/restaurant in the centre of Dunedin, in May.
Police later confirmed that they were investigating an incident at Vault 21 and said a rugby player “of significance” was involved.
The maximum penalty on a charge of male assaults female is two years’ imprisonment.
New Zealand Rugby [NZR] general manager professional rugby and performance Chris Lendrum reportedly said the national body has undertaken its “own employment process” and it is aware that charges have been laid against Frizell.
“We are aware that charges have been laid against one of our players and we have initiated our own employment process,” Lendrum said, according to the Otago Daily Times.
However, Highlanders chief executive Roger Clark said it was not punishment for Frizell, but rather a measure to avoid “distraction”.
Clark also said at the time that he would “be surprised” if charges were laid against the 15-test All Black.
The Highlanders went on to post a 40-19 victory over the Reds, and Frizell returned to the franchise’s starting lineup for their match against the Western Force the following week.
He was then named in Ian Foster’s Bledisloe Cup and Rugby Championship squad last week.
The All Blacks are set to resume their international campaign against the Wallabies at Eden Park in Auckland next Saturday.
In April, Frizell signed a two-year contract extension with the Highlanders and NZR as he cited the culture of the Highlanders as a key reason behind his decision to stay in Dunedin.
“I have enjoyed my time here, I like Dunedin and the culture of the team, it seems to get the best out of me,” he said at the time.
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