Waratahs prop Matt Dunning has been fined A$3,000 (R15,000) by a NSW disciplinary committee for breaching the team’s disciplinary protocols.
The 27-year-old’s binge at Sydney’s Concord Hotel, saw him damage a taxi door at around 2am Sunday morning. The driver reported the incident to police but Dunning later resolved the issue with him.
Dunning pleaded guilty to being inappropriately affected by alcohol in public but the disciplinary committee found the damage to the door to was accidental.
He took a jab at the committee when asked about the findings. “I personally think it is a harsh fine, but men smarter than me came up with that fine.”
He maintains that although he “had a few drinks” he was in total control of his actions.
“I believe I wasn’t drunk,” he said before following with a puzzling “but I concede that a person could consider me drunk.”
“I’m first trying to understand the finding, I’ll decide in a few days,” he said when asked if he was going to pursue the option of an a appeal.
Dunning was represented by Tony Dempsey, boss of the Rugby Union Players’ Association, who said he was worried by the decision and the precedent it set.
“We are concerned about a finding that a player can be drinking in a hotel and therefore be in breach of the protocol. We’ve got to go back and look at the wording of the code.”
Dunning had previously been fined $5000 (R25 000) for an alcohol-related matter in 2003 and was also fined $500 (R2500) last year for staying out late in the week of a Test match against South Africa in Cape Town.