Chiefs' Lauaki charged over bar incident - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Chiefs' Lauaki charged over bar incident

10/03/2010 03:43:59 PM Comments (0)

All Blacks rugby forward Sione Lauaki was on Wednesday charged with assault over an incident in a Hamilton bar last week.

Lauaki, 28, is due to appear in Hamilton District Court on March 23.

His Super 14 franchise, the Chiefs, gave the blockbusting loose forward their backing, but coach Ian Foster has left him out of the side to play the Crusaders in Hamilton on Friday night.

"I've spoken to Sione and we've both decided that he won't be involved in this game in light of the week that he has had," he said.

"We will fully support him over the next few weeks and what he has to go through."

Foster believed the rest of his squad had been able to avoid being distracted by the issue.

"It's something that you never want to happen, but it's a reality of life that things get chucked at you as a team and we've just got to learn how to deal with it," he said.

"I think the team has dealt with it really well. It's been a good process we've gone through."

The charge against Lauaki arose from an alleged incident at the Coyotes Bar and Restaurant in the early hours of last Friday.

Lauaki has had a chequered start to this year's Super 14.

He was Foster's surprise choice as stand-in skipper while regular captain Mils Muliaina was given the first three matches off.

However, he missed the Chiefs' season-opening victory over the Sharks in Durban after a cut on an arm led to an abscess.

He played against the Lions the following weekend, but was hit by a two-match suspension for a dangerous tackle in the 72-65 win in Johannesburg.

The ban ended last weekend, making him eligible for selection against the Crusaders.

He has played 17 Tests, but his last was in 2008 and he admitted last year that he believed his All Blacks days were over.

Lauaki has been in trouble with the law before.

In 2006, he was offered police diversion after admitting assaulting a Hamilton security officer. Last year, he underwent an anger management course after appearing in court for damaging an Auckland motel unit.

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