Hurricanes and All Blacks winger Julian Savea has issued a tearful apology after he was charged with assault in relation to a domestic incident.
At a press conference today Savea said he could not go into detail about the incident, "but I will say my partner and I had an argument, I did some things that are wrong, that I shouldn't have done, and I apologise for that".
"To my partner and family, I want to say I'm sorry," he said. "To hurt someone that you love and care so much for ... I know it's hurting them and it's definitely hurting me, so I apologise to them."
He confirmed the incident took place last Sunday.
Savea also apologised to the Hurricanes, the All Blacks and the New Zealand Rugby Football Union.
"I'm not making excuses for myself. I know what I did was wrong, and I'm taking steps to make sure this will never happen again."
He will appear in the Wellington District Court tomorrow, the Hurricanes and New Zealand Rugby confirmed today.
"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," Hurricanes chief executive James Te Puni said.
"I have spoken with Julian who is deeply upset to be in this position and now needs to deal with the situation."
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."
Savea, 22, played for the Hurricanes on Friday, in a 22-16 win over the Western Force in Wellington.
He has had a stellar start to his professional rugby career, earning an All Black call-up in June last year against Ireland.
Nicknamed ''The Bus,'' Savea's block-busting style of play has earned him comparisons with All Black great Jonah Lomu.
- Fairfax Media
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