Rugby player remanded after assault
A Hamilton man who has been banned from rugby for life after allegedly punching a referee has appeared in court.
Whetu Barber, 25, was remanded without plea after appearing in the Hamilton District Court this morning on a charge of assaulting referee Mark Ray during a premier B club rugby game for Otorohanga against Morrinsville on April 18.
Barber was bailed with a condition not to contact Ray.
He will reappear in the Morrinsville District Court next month.
Barber was banned from his club and the Waikato Rugby Union after the alleged incident.
The ban means he can't play rugby anywhere in New Zealand, and likely around the world as he would need clearance from New Zealand Rugby.
After the incident Barber changed codes and turned out for rugby league side Ngaruawahia Panthers twice earlier this month.
However, that has been brought to a halt due to a mutual agreement between the codes that prevents a person playing if they have been banned by another code.