Smith to miss Bledisloe Test

All Blacks scrumhalf Aaron Smith has been issued with a formal warning and will voluntarily miss this weekend's Bledisloe Cup Test following a misconduct meeting.

Smith faced a New Zealand Rugby disciplinary hearing on Monday after it came to light he entered a disabled toilet with an unknown woman at Christchurch Airport on 18 September. The All Blacks management only became aware of the incident upon their arrival in South Africa, and Smith was immediately sent home.

Monday's misconduct proceedings, chaired by NZR general manager Neil Sorensen, breached the two-hour mark and found that Smith's actions impacted on the reputation of the All Blacks jersey and its commercial partners.

The 27-year-old agreed to stand down from assembling with the All Blacks for Saturday's Test against the Wallabies in Auckland, and will forfeit his selection fees.

'Aaron presented himself as genuine, honest and incredibly remorseful.  We have also taken into account the fact that the very public nature of this incident has had a significant impact on him personally,' said Sorensen.

'We accepted that he is genuine about wanting to improve himself and has acknowledged he will need the support of his family, friends and rugby to move forward.

'We also noted that Aaron had already made a public apology to his partner, friends, family, teammates, his employer, fans and he had already served a one-week stand down.'

Photo: Anne Laing/HM Images

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Mariette Adams