Highlanders player Manaaki Selby-Rickit faces assault charge

Manaaki Selby-Rickit.
Dianne Manson
Manaaki Selby-Rickit.

Southland Stags player Manaaki Selby-Rickit has been charged with injures with intent to injure after an incident where a man had his jaw fractured.

Selby-Rickit, 22, who appeared in the Invercargill District Court on Tuesday, was remanded to reappear on October 1.

His lawyer, Jono Ross, indicated his client would enter a plea on that date.

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Before the court appearance, a police spokesperson said a man suffered a fractured jaw after allegedly being punched and then kicked while on the ground about 3.15am on Sunday morning.

The incident occurred outside the Night 'n Day dairy on the corner of Esk and Dee streets in Invercargill, police said.

Rugby Southland general manager Brian Hopley said he was made aware of a situation on Sunday.

Hopley said it would await the outcome of the legal process before making any further comment.

A work colleague of the injured man, said he'd been transported to Dunedin Hospital and on Monday was expected to have two titanium plates inserted to repair his fractured jaw.

A police spokesperson said several people were in the area at the time of the incident and has urged anyone with information to contact Constable Brendan Howe of Invercargill Police on 105.

While contracted to Rugby Southland Selby-Rickit has not been playing for the Stags this season after undergoing back surgery in July.

The 22-year-old joined the Southland Stags in 2017 and quickly developed into one of the province's more promising rugby prospects.

He had a outstanding 2018 season which led him to be voted the Stags players' player and was awarded the most improved forward, and Rugby Southland Supporters Club's most promising player.

Selby-Rickit was then signed by the Highlanders Super Rugby club on a development contract where he trained alongside the team, although he was yet to play at the Super Rugby level.

It was decided Selby-Rickit would skip the Mitre 10 Cup season and instead have surgery to ensure he would be ready to for the Highlanders' preseason campaign in the lead up to the 2020 season.

Selby-Rickit comes from a notable sporting family given his father Hud Rickit was a former All Black, and his sisters Te Paea Selby-Rickit and Te Huinga Selby-Rickit both play netball professionally.