All Blacks loosie allegedly involved in assault of woman

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Australia lock Lukhan Salakaia-Loto duels New Zealand’s Shannon Frizell at a lineout during the Bledisloe Cup match at Eden Park in Auckland on 18 October 2020. (Photo by Hannah Peters/Getty Images)
Australia lock Lukhan Salakaia-Loto duels New Zealand’s Shannon Frizell at a lineout during the Bledisloe Cup match at Eden Park in Auckland on 18 October 2020. (Photo by Hannah Peters/Getty Images)

New Zealand Rugby (NZR) has confirmed an investigation was launched into allegations that an All Blacks player was involved in an assault on a woman in Dunedin.

According to a report on New Zealand's Stuff website, loose forward Shannon Frizell was part of an alleged incident that took place at a popular restaurant/bar in the centre of the city.

A police spokesperson said in a statement to 1 NEWS they were investigating a report of an assault at "a bar in the Octagon" at approximately 02:30 (NZ time) on Sunday.

Officers weren't called to the incident, but police were recently notified of the situation and allegations. Enquiries have since been launched but nobody has been arrested, a police spokesperson added.

Frizell, 27, represents the Highlanders in Super Rugby and has played 13 Tests for the All Blacks since making his debut against France in Dunedin in 2018.

New Zealand Rugby general manager Chris Lendrum said the governing body was aware of the alleged incident.

"New Zealand Rugby is aware of an alleged incident involving a Highlanders player in Dunedin on Sunday morning," Lendrum commented.

"We are working alongside the Highlanders to ascertain what happened and have no further comment until that process has been complete."

Meanwhile, Frizell was subsequently omitted from the Highlanders' Super Rugby Trans Tasman match against the Reds in Dunedin on Friday night.

Although he has not been charged with any wrongdoing by police, the Highlanders decided it was best he was stood down from the opening round of the competition.

Highlanders CEO Roger Clark told Stuff that Frizell was not being punished because he had not been found guilty of breaking any laws.

"I think it is important for us all to remember at this time, these are all allegations and no charges have been laid," Clark said.

"However, these have been a distraction for the player and the team. And in the best interests of everyone concerned, we are going to omit Shannon from the team this week."

Highlanders team:

15 Sam Gilbert, 14 Sio Tomkinson, 13 Michael Collins, 12 Scott Gregory, 11 Jona Nareki, 10 Mitch Hunt, 9 Aaron Smith (co-captain), 8 Kazuki Himeno, 7 Billy Harmon, 6 Hugh Renton, 5 Josh Dickon, 4 Pari Pari Parkson, 3 Siate Tokolahi, 2 Ash Dixon (co-captain), 1 Ayden Johnstone

Substitutes: Liam Coltman, Ethan de Groot, Josh Hohneck, Bryn Evans, James Lentjes, Kayne Hammington, Tim O’Malley, Ngatungane Punivai.

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