Richard Fa'aoso charged over domestic dispute

NICK RALSTON
Last updated 22:49 25/11/2013

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Manly Sea Eagles forward Richard Fa'aoso has been charged over an alleged domestic incident and then leading police on a pursuit through Sydney's south-west while drunk.

Police said they were called to the NRL player's home at Macquarie Fields at 2pm on Sunday when Fa'aoso, 29, allegedly became involved in an argument with his wife.

The Tongan international allegedly knocked over furniture, kicked a door off its hinges and smashed a window before his wife ran off.

Fa'aoso is then alleged to have driven to another house in nearby Ingleburn where the domestic dispute continued and police were called.

When officers arrived, they tried to stop Fa'aoso as he drove past the premises but he kept driving and a police pursuit began.

He was stopped at Currawong Street at Ingleburn, where he was arrested and was given a breath test.

He allegedly returned a positive reading.

Fa'aoso has been charged with malicious damage, not stopping a vehicle when directed to do so and mid-range drink driving.

He is due in Campbelltown Local Court on Tuesday.

He has also been issued with an apprehended violence order.

The National Rugby League said its Integrity Unit was investigating the incident and was assisting with counselling support for both him and his family.

"We have clear procedures on any behavioural matter and Manly has complied with those," NRL chief operating officer Jim Doyle said.

"There are police matters here that we have to allow to take their course but we are also able to look at some issues and to ensure that there is welfare support for the player and his family.

"Until we do have the opportunity to assess the facts it is not possible to make any further comment."

Manly released a statement on Monday afternoon saying it had been made aware on Sunday of an incident involving Fa'aoso. The club said it then reported the matter to the NRL Integrity Unit, which was conducting its own investigation into what happened.

"Richie has the full support of his wife and family and is presently undergoing counselling," the club said. "Further to this, the family has asked us to make it clear that this is not a domestic violence matter and that they be afforded some privacy at this time."

Manly and the NRL said they would not be making any further statements at this stage.

Fa'aoso, who started his NRL career at the Penrith Panthers in 2004, missed this year's grand final against the Roosters after fracturing his C7 vertebra in the Sea Eagles' preliminary final win against South Sydney.

A rugby league journeyman, having also played at the Eels, Roosters and Knights before winning a premiership with Melbourne and then joining Manly, Fa'aoso had not given up hope of overcoming the injury and playing in the 2014 season.

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- Fairfax Media

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