All Blacks address Ioane and Marshall's street dispute
REACTION: All Blacks head coach Ian Foster says he is disappointed by viral footage of an altercation between Akira Ioane and Justin Marshall last week.
Ioane, a current All Blacks squad member, and Marshall, the former 81-test All Blacks halfback and Sky TV commentator, were filmed engaging in a public stoush after New Zealand’s historic loss to Ireland in Wellington last Saturday.
An agitated Ioane was seen being held back by numerous people – including teammates Angus Ta’avao, Braydon Ennor and David Havili – while Marshall was cordoned off and told to leave by Caleb Clarke and George Bower.
The incident took place outside of a busy in central Wellington, where the chants of Irish fans celebrating their first-ever series win over the All Blacks in New Zealand drowned out most of the dialogue of those present in the video.
Regardless, Foster wasn’t impressed by the interaction between Ioane and Marshall as he told media on Friday that he has spoken to both parties.
“Reality is it’s disappointing,” Foster said as he revealed that Ioane and Marshall have since spoken to each other about the encounter.
“It’s disappointing that two people were mouthing off a little bit at each other. I wish it hadn’t happened.
“Yes, I’ve talked to both people involved, and I know they’ve had a conversation with each other and there are no issues going forward.
“I’m also not overly impressed that people think they should film that stuff and spread it, because two people arguing in a pub I don’t think as big an issue as people make it.”
Foster’s comments come on the same day that Ioane was included in the 36-man All Blacks squad for the upcoming Rugby Championship.
New Zealand Rugby [NZR] had issued a statement addressing the incident earlier in the week, saying players and security present during the incident had been consulted.
“Our security was managing the group in a separate area at the venue,” NZR said in its statement.
“We have contacted venue staff and spoken at length with players and security staff, who recall words being exchanged with another individual as they were leaving. Our security proceeded to escort our players to their transport.
“Behaving responsibly is one of the core values in our team environment. The group were working to meet their curfew and when faced with a tricky situation, they did what they could to ensure everyone departed safely at the appropriate time.”
Earlier in the week, Marshall said in an interview with SENZ that there were certain players within the All Blacks squad who “probably shouldn’t be there”.
“Now that’s a big statement I know, but I [wasn’t] utterly convinced about the players that were put in that side and that Ian Foster was trusting the All Blacks to go out there and win us a test series against Ireland and therefore move on and win us a World Cup.
“There are lots of equations in the mix, like what the hell is Caleb Clarke doing there if his hamstring was never going to be right for the series?
“There’s no point in having a guy there [that isn’t fit to play]. They didn’t need to name players that they couldn’t use. Why did they do that?”
By Alex McLeod, Rugbypass