Mon 1 Jul 2019 | 07:55

Crusaders stars learn their fate after misconduct investigation

Crusaders stars learn their fate after misconduct investigation
Mon 1 Jul 2019 | 07:55
Crusaders stars learn their fate after misconduct investigation
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UPDATE: All Blacks Richie Mo’unga and George Bridge have been cleared of serious breaches after allegations of offensive behaviour during the Crusaders’ Super Rugby tour of South Africa.

New Zealand Rugby released the findings of an employment investigation after accusations were made against the pair by members of the public in separate late-night incidents in May.

Star flyhalf Mo’unga was investigated for allegedly spitting at a woman in a Pretoria bar after the Crusaders’ game against the Bulls on May 10.

Outside back Bridge was part of a group that was accused of making homophobic slurs and acting in an intimidating manner at a Cape Town fast food outlet the following week.

NZ Rugby’s independent complaint service sought surveillance camera footage and accounts from all parties, including the players, who had refuted the allegations.

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The claims against Bridge weren’t upheld while those against Mo’unga could not be substantiated, NZ Rugby head of Rugby Nigel Cass said.

“Given the seriousness of these allegations, and the potential consequences, we needed to be confident that what was alleged, actually took place, and we weren’t,” he said.

However, Mo’unga was admonished by the national body after he acknowledged he had been drinking and had interacted with the complainant in a way he regretted.

The nine-Test veteran had subsequently apologised.

“We feel that he has learned some valuable lessons and we are satisfied that he will not put himself in the same position again in future,” Cass said.

“He has been reminded of his obligation to be a role model for the sport at all times, especially when approached by members of the public – even in a social setting.”

NZ Rugby asked the Crusaders to review their protocols around post-match player activity.

Crusaders chief Colin Mansbridge said they will also review their wider policies around alcohol and social media use.

Mo’unga and Bridge continued to play during the six-week investigation.

Both are set to be involved in the Super Rugby Final against the Jaguares in Christchurch on Saturday.

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Crusaders Stars Learn Their Fate After Misconduct Investigation | Rugby365