New drama as Wallaby is arrested
REACTION: Rugby Australia has been hit by another bombshell, with the fall-out of the Israel Folau saga still gathering momentum.
The national body, RA, moved quickly to confirm that they are aware of the latest controversy to rock the game.
The Daily Telegraph in Australia reported that Wallaby hooker Silatolu Latu has been arrested for drink driving.
According to reports Latu was found slumped over the wheel of a vehicle not far from Rugby Australia headquarters in Sydney at approximately 04.30 on Thursday morning.
RA released a statement on the matter: “Rugby Australia and New South Wales Rugby Union have been made aware today by the Daily Telegraph of an incident involving Wallabies and Waratahs hooker Tolu Latu.
“Rugby Australia’s Integrity Unit is working with the New South Wales Rugby Union to ascertain all of the facts.”
Tongan-born Latu, who has played 12 Tests for Australia, was named on the bench for the Saturday’s Waratahs match with the Reds and took to the field in the 67th minute of the 40-32 Round 14 win in Brisbane.
New South Wales chief executive Andrew Hore said post-match he had no knowledge of the incident until being made aware of the media report and was disappointed considering it followed hard on the heels of the Folau contract termination saga.
“It’s something we’ll obviously talk to Tolu about as we go through the investigation,” Hore said.
In February Latu was hit with a six-week ban for a dangerous play in his side’s tight 31-30 win over the Sunwolves in Tokyo.
The Wallaby hooker pleaded guilty for dangerous play in the 79th minute of that match, which left opposition loose forward Ed Quirk with an injured knee.
This latest debacle comes fresh off the back of the Folau saga.
RA’s statement on Latu comes just a day after Folau has had his four-year, AU$4 million contract with Rugby Australia terminated because of his controversial social media posts.
A three-person independent panel announced their verdict on Friday – 10 days after deciding Folau had committed a “high-level” breach of RA’s professional players’ code of conduct.
The Wallabies’ only three-times player of the year and Super Rugby’s all-time leading try-scorer has 72 hours to appeal and force the governing body into proceeding with a second code of conduct hearing.