All Blacks halfback Aaron Smith has withdrawn from Saturday’s Bledisloe Cup match against Australia as he continues to deal with the fallout following a romp in a public toilet.
He was stood down for one match following an incident at Christchurch Airport last month with a woman.
Smith, who has a girlfriend, was spotted entering the toilet with a woman while in team uniform minutes prior to flying out to South Africa for a Test match.
The woman who reported the incident said the female entered the toilet before Smith’s arrival with the pair proceeding to make “noises” which could be heard by her young son.
The disciplinary matter was heard over two hours by a panel chaired by New Zealand Rugby general manager Neil Sorensen.
“It’s important to note that as an employment matter, it is not usual to comment publicly on proceedings. However, both Aaron and his legal representative, and New Zealand Rugby acknowledge that in the circumstances, there is a need to make some public comment,” Sorensen said.
“Aaron presented himself as genuine, honest and incredibly remorseful. We have also taken into account the fact that the very public nature of this incident, has had a significant impact on him personally.
“We accepted that he is genuine about wanting to improve himself and note that he himself has acknowledged he will need the support of his family, friends and Rugby to move forward.
“We also noted that Aaron had already made a very public apology to his partner, friends and family, team mates, his employer, and rugby fans and he had already served a one-week stand down.”