New Zealand Rugby probes abuse claims against Crusaders

Stormers captain Siya Kolisi scored an early try to rock the Crusaders in Cape Town

Gallo Images Stormers captain Siya Kolisi scored an early try to rock the Crusaders in Cape Town

Robertson said Bridge had asked to have a photograph taken with one of the men involved in the incident.

The pair are rising stars of New Zealand rugby and set to play a key role as the Crusaders chase a third successive Super Rugby title.

It is alleged some players became aggressive when questioned about their behaviour and responded with "homophobic slurs, limp wrists and high pitched voices which were clearly in gest (sic)". All will be available to play the Blues in Christchurch on Saturday night.

In a separate incident, a woman accused another Crusaders and All Blacks player of spitting beer on her and her friends at a Cape Town night-spot earlier in the week.

The woman, who said she emailed the Crusaders' management, said she made a decision to speak out after hearing of allegations of the homophobic slurs last weekend and that she, too, was seeking security footage of the incident. They are yet to receive a response.

She told Radio New Zealand that Richie Mo'unga had apologised to her the next day when she contacted him via Instagram.

The claim follows accusations on Monday that three Crusaders players made homophobic slurs at a McDonald's outlet in Cape Town last weekend, with coach Scott Robertson revealing All Black George Bridge was involved.

"I told the guy "look here, that's not okay, you don't do that".

There is no timeline for the investigation to be completed, and Mansbridge confirmed formal complaints had not yet been made regarding the McDonald's incident, or the one which took place a week earlier, when a woman alleged Mo'unga spat beer at her and her friends in a bar.

"He just flat out ignored us and walked away, he looked at us with a dead stare and just walked away".

Crusaders chief executive Colin Mansbridge.

"In the case of the second event in Cape Town I don't think there is any discussion of alcohol, in the case of the first there was the term of intoxication was used - I don't think from the reports I've had, was out of control".

The Crusaders will consider reviewing their protocol regarding post-match drinking and curfews after the investigation is completed, Mansbridge admitted.

"I just feel like something needs to be done because, like I said, this is something small thing, it might be miniscule thing but then he does it again and he's drunk and he does it again and it's something way worse and that person maybe actually commits suicide or does something way worse than what I did, and then it's another story".

"They [rules] are situation dependent".

A friend of the player who spat at the group came over and the woman told him what the player had done was not okay. The leadership group comes together and makes some decisions on that, and coaches oversee that.

"Whenever something happens you always have to stop and say "right, what could we do better and differently" and absolutely we'll be sitting down and thinking about that...", Mansbridge said.

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