Frizell stood down from Bledisloe test

Highlanders and All Blacks player Shannon Frizell will miss two games after appearing in court on assault charges.

The 27-year-old Tongan-born loose forward with 15 international caps appeared in the Dunedin District Court yesterday on two charges of assaulting a woman and one of common assault.

The case was adjourned until September so Frizell could complete the requirements of diversion, a scheme used by police to help first offenders avoid a conviction.

Shannon Frizell will be back in court in September, where his charges will be withdrawn if he...
Shannon Frizell will be back in court in September, where his charges will be withdrawn if he completes diversion. PHOTO: PETER MCINTOSH
Those conditions would be determined by police and could include restorative justice meetings, reparation payments or voluntary work.

An acceptance of guilt is a prerequisite.

Following a misconduct hearing, New Zealand Rugby said Frizell had been stood down for two matches.

He will not be available for selection for the All Blacks first Bledisloe Cup Test in Auckland on August 7.

He was stood down for the Highlanders’ game against the Reds after the incident and that was also taken into account as one of the matches.

Outside court, Frizell apologised to “the people involved, my family, friends and the wider community”.

“I let myself and others down and I will now try to do everything I can to restore people’s faith in me,” he said.

“I already have put a plan in place with counsellors to help me address areas I want to work on.”

The alleged incident took place on May 9 and is understood to have occurred outside a bar in the Octagon.

The victim of the common assault is understood to be a Dunedin premier club rugby player.

Frizell was allowed bail and ordered not to contact either victim or consume alcohol, until his next court appearance.

New Zealand Rugby manager of professional rugby and performance Chris Lendrum said it was disappointed by the incident.

He said Frizell had accepted responsibility for his actions.

As part of the misconduct process, all parties have agreed that no further comment on the matter would be made.

rob.kidd@odt.co.nz

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