Jerry Collins belted his own teammate in the early hours of the morning as the Canes struggled to come to terms with Bloemfontein’s nightlife and a two point defeat against the Cheetahs.
Every year Kiwi rugby players are involved in a pub brawl and you can already pencil in next year’s bust up, be it in Canberra, Cape Town or Hickville. This time Collins took on his own teammate, reportedly giving left wing Lome Fa’atau an elbow to the face after the two argued.
It is unknown what the argument was about, but the Hurricanes management confirmed the incident in a media statement.
Samoan hooker Trevor Leota, who plays for the Cheetahs, acted as peacemaker.
Team management issued a statement saying they were “disappointed” to learn of a “minor incident” involving Collins and Fa’atau.
“The two players were involved in a minor tussle with each other at a nightclub in Bloemfontein,” the Hurricanes statement said. “No one else was involved and the matter has since been dealt with internally within the team, with both players dealt with under the team’s protocols and code of conduct.”
Hurricanes coach Colin Cooper told the Dominion-Post newspaper it “was not a big thing” but he would not confirm if the players could be dropped for the clash against the Stormers.
“You’ll have to wait and see. The team will be named on Friday,” he told the paper.
Hurricanes team manager Garry Carnachan said the incident was not acceptable and that had been spelt out to the pair.
“We are disappointed to learn of the disagreement between these two players because under the current regime, extremely high standards have been set within the team both on and off the field,” he said. “We’ve made it clear to the players that they must conduct themselves in a professional manner at all times and they are aware that their actions were pretty stupid and not acceptable.”
The Collins incident follows Danie Rossouw’s belting of a hapless Pretoria soul. Charges were initially laid against Rossouw, but withdrawn on Monday morning after the victim and the Bulls Rugby Union met.
The two incidents come a fortnight after Wendell Sailor was sent home in disgrace for shoving Joe Public in Cape Town and then hurling in public after a booze bender turned into a downer for the big Aussie and Waratahs winger.
In February All Blacks and Chiefs loose-forward Sione Lauaki was charged and pleaded guilty to assaulting an ordinary Joe in the early hours of the morning in Hickville.