HURRICANES and All Blacks wing Julian Savea has been charged with common assault and will appear in the Wellington District Court tomorrow, the Hurricanes and New Zealand Rugby confirmed today.
Hurricanes chief executive James Te Puni said today that the charge related to a domestic incident last Sunday.
"Obviously, we are disappointed to have this situation emerge, but we must now let the judicial process run its course. The key thing for us is to support the families as they work through what is a very difficult time,'' he said in a statement.
"I have spoken with Julian who is deeply upset to be in this position and now needs to deal with the situation,'' he added.
Savea made his test debut last year and played nine internationals for the All Blacks and scored 12 tries.
The 22-year-old made his provincial debut for Wellington in 2010 and first played for the Hurricanes in 2011.
New Zealand Rugby chief executive Steve Tew said: "We were very disappointed to learn of this incident and Julian's subsequent charge.
We appreciate this is a distressing time for all those affected and we are also helping support the family.
"As his employer, we want to ensure that our process regarding misconduct proceedings also respects his right to a fair hearing in court, so we will await the conclusion of the court process.
"Without judging the rights or wrongs of this case, we are concerned that this is another incident involving a young player. We need to find out whether we are doing enough to help these young men cope with the pressures of the professional game.
"As a result of these various incidents, we will be undertaking an independent assessment of the support we provide players from their time of induction into the professional game.''
Te Puni said Savea had also appeared on posters last year as part of the "It's Not OK'' campaign against family violence.
"Given that, Julian is embarrassed and apologetic he now finds himself in this situation,'' Te Puni said.
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