All Blacks stand down Smith after disabled toilet incident


Aaron Smith Scandal - NZ Media React
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The All Blacks have stood halfback Aaron Smith down from their Rugby Championship match against South Africa in Durban this weekend.

The All Black star is being sent home from South Africa to New Zealand where he will face a misconduct hearing.

According to a report in the New Zealand Herald Smith was seen entering a disabled toilet with a female – who is not his regular partner Teagan Voykovich – at Christchurch Airport on the Sunday after the All Blacks test against South Africa in Christchurch.

The New Zealand Rugby Union say that they are supporting the action taken against Smith by the All Blacks team who learned of the incident when they arrived in South Africa on Monday.

“This was really bad decision-making by Aaron which reflects poorly on him, and on the team,” said New Zealand Rugby Chief Executive Steve Tew.

New Zealand Rugby is supporting the action taken by the All Blacks in standing halfback Aaron Smith down from the team to play South Africa this weekend.

“He has failed to meet the standards that New Zealand Rugby and the public expect of our players.

“We are taking action to improve the culture of our game and are about to embark on an independent review of respect and responsibility in our professional player environment. We have drafted the terms of reference and are currently talking to prospective panel members. We will provide an update on this shortly.”

All Blacks coach Steve Hansen told the NZHerald, “Clearly Aaron is bitterly disappointed in his behaviour and feels he has let the team down but just as importantly he feels bitterly disappointed in letting his family and his partner down,”.

Meanwhile an unnamed source told the NZHerald that he saw Smith “sneak” into the wheelchair access toilet at the airport.

“The pair were in the bathroom for 5-10 minutes and from the noises coming out of the bathroom there was absolutely no question what the couple were doing in there.

“Mr Smith then came out of the room on his own, straightening up his white checked shirt and black dress pants (the All Blacks uniform they were all wearing at the time).

“About a minute later the young lady comes out of the same toilet cubicle looking equally suspicious. I myself did not have a problem with this … my wife however is protesting that this is disgusting for a public figure to do.

“He essentially occupied a public cubicle reserved for the disabled for up to 10 minutes. This was not discreet, it was 2pm on a Sunday where there were a lot of children and fans around. ”

“He was in his full All Blacks uniform and there was not an ounce of remorse or regret on his face. He buttoned up his shirt and sat back down with his teammates and carried on smiling, chatting like nothing had happened.”

The New Zealand Rugby Union have said that until the misconduct process has been completed they will not be commenting further on the incident.

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