Hurricane stood down for 'illicit substance' use
NEWS: Wellington rugby players have been investigated for snorting an illicit drug off a century-old shield.
According to New Zealand reports, Wellington and New Zealand unions were made aware of the incident due to a video being circulated on social media, before being deleted.
The video appeared to show two club players with what was later confirmed to be an illicit substance off the Swindale Shield.
Wellington Rugby didn’t name the player in a statement but did confirm that the case had been handed to police.
The club also stated that the contracted player received a warning, a two-week suspension from all rugby games and training, and has been placed in a targeted pool for illicit drug testing.
“The player admitted his actions in a misconduct meeting,” the Wellington union said in a statement.
“The player was remorseful and volunteered to undertake counselling and volunteer time at his club. He was warned and was suspended for two weeks from all rugby including games and training meaning he is only available after Monday, June 10.
“He will miss one club game and one pre-season game for Wellington.”
Wellington Rugby Union chief executive Matt Evans said they were also talking to Hutt Old Boys Marist about the actions of club players also in the video.
“There is no place for illicit substances in rugby. We are incredibly disappointed this has happened. With regard to this player we have accepted his remorse, he has now put his career in jeopardy but he is a young man who we believe is entitled to make amends.”
Hutt Old Boys Marist chairman Phil Saxton said the players’ actions were unacceptable and in a clear breach of its code of conduct.
“The club has taken the opportunity to initiate a significant education exercise around alcohol and illicit substances for all players, not just the ones involved in this incident. The players in the video are also taking an active lead in the process and working hard to provide reparation on a meaningful level.”
Meanwhile, Stuff revealed that one of the individuals on the video is Wellington and Hurricane player James O’Reilly.
The 24-year-old player was captured on a video that showed MDMA on the Swindale Shield, the New Zealand newspaper reported.
O’Reilly is a contracted by Wellington Lions. He has played 11 times for the Hurricanes in 2018 and was called in as injury cover for them this season.
O’Reilly released a statement on Wednesday night apologising for his actions.
“I have made a mistake and it is one that I intend to learn from.
“I am truly sorry for the embarrassment and damage that I have caused to my club, Wellington Rugby and the wider rugby community.
“I completely accept New Zealand Rugby’s disciplinary process and am committed to undertaking the necessary steps in order to make amends.”
Source: Rugbypass & Stuff
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