New Zealand All Blacks Rugby News

Kiwi party boys treated like schoolchildren




New Zealand’s top rugby players believe they are entitled to have all-night parties and that team management treat them like “schoolchildren” if they stay out boozing till 4am the next morning.

Six All Blacks – Piri Weepu, Troy Flavell, Rico Gear, John Schwalger, Conrad Smith and Ross Filipo – were fined $NZ500 after being out until 4am the day before the Tri-Nations/Bledisloe Cup decider between New Zealand and Australia in Auckland earlier this month.

They were exposed for their all-night boozing binge when someone slipped a note under coach Graham Henry’s hotel room door.

Now these All Blacks claim they were treated like schoolchildren by team management.

Players told The Dominion Post they were stunned at how seriously it was treated by management.

One said it was like being back at school when they were reprimanded by Henry, a former secondary school principal, and team manager Darren Shand.

All six players are adults with Weepu and Schwalger the youngest at 23, while Flavell is 30, Gear 29 and Filipo 28.

Smith, 25, who is also a qualified lawyer, said the reaction to the players’ excursion had been “puzzling”, while Weepu denied the players had let their teammates down.

Shand had made that claim when he revealed the six players had been charged with misconduct under the players’ collective agreement and fined.

Although no curfew was in place, Shand said midnight would be a respectable hour for the All Blacks to be tucked up in bed.

Weepu, whose omission from the World Cup squad has been linked, in part, to the night out in Auckland, said “not really” when asked if he believed he had let anyone down.


365 Digital

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