Selby-Rickit out for four weeks

Manaaki Selby-Rickit of Southland. Photo: Getty Images
Manaaki Selby-Rickit of Southland. Photo: Getty Images
Missing four weeks is bad enough for Highlanders lock Manaaki Selby-Rickit but it could have been much worse.

He could have been thrown out of the game or received a longer ban.

Selby-Rickit will still train with the Highlanders and take part in activities.

New Zealand Rugby announced yesterday the new signing has been suspended for four weeks after he was found guilty of serious misconduct by an NZR misconduct hearing.

Selby-Rickit, who was last month convicted of injuring with reckless regard, acknowledged his behaviour did not meet the standard required of a professional rugby player.

NZR head of professional rugby Chris Lendrum said the new Highlanders signing would not be available for the team’s two pre-season fixtures or the first two Super Rugby games of 2020.

He would be permitted to train with the team.

The 23-year-old, who is yet to play a game for the Highlanders, pleaded guilty and had to pay $8000 in reparation to his victim, after appearing in the Invercargill District Court last month.

The summary of facts said Selby-Rickit punched the victim several times in the head after an altercation in the centre of Invercargill in September.

He also kicked the victim on the side of the head when he was on the ground.

In court, Selby-Rickit was said to be remorseful, attended therapy and was willing to attend restorative justice.

Lendrum said in the statement yesterday, the lock would continue to be monitored.

"We have made it clear that there is no place in rugby for violence and we expect better decisions from players when it comes to alcohol.

"Manaaki has been formally sanctioned with a warning, and we are requiring him to undergo counselling," he said.

NZR, the Highlanders and Selby-Rickit have also agreed a programme of counselling and monitoring to ensure he is committed to rehabilitation.

Selby-Rickit plays his provincial rugby for Southland but he did not play for the province last season after he had a back operation.

He was a development player for the Highlanders last season, training with the team but not getting on the paddock.

With the Highlanders two starting locks from last season, Jackson Hemopo and Tom Franklin both leaving the franchise, Selby-Rickit is in the running to get a starting spot.

The Highlanders play the Waratahs in Sydney and the Crusaders in Wanaka in pre-season games and take on the Sharks in Dunedin and the Brumbies in Canberra in their first two Super Rugby games.



It's astounding how violent acts by sportsmen are rewarded with a slap on the wrist, but quoting scripture merits an effective life ban.