All Black accused of inappropriately touching woman
NEW Zealand rugby is in the midst of another controversy after a Cape Town woman accused All Blacks and Crusaders playmaker Richie Mo'unga of inappropriately touching her and earlier spitting beer at her and her friends.
The new allegations came less than 48 hours after members of the Crusaders, including Test winger George Bridge, were accused by other locals of threatening and homophobic behaviour following their 19-19 draw with the Stormers on Saturday night.
It's now been alleged that a week earlier, on Saturday, May 11, at the Arcade Bar in Cape Town - the night after the Crusaders smashed the Bulls 45-13 in Pretoria - the back-to-back Super Rugby champions were embroiled in another off-field incident.
Having beaten the Bulls the previous night, the Crusaders had flown to Cape Town ahead of their final game on tour in South Africa against the Stormers at Newlands on May 18.
Mo'unga, 24, and a group of unknown men reportedly went to the bar.
Throughout the evening, it's alleged that Mo'unga spat beer in the direction of group of women.
"We got there and we noticed, I was actually telling my friends, these guys they look like New Zealanders, they look like either All Blacks or something," a South African woman told Radio New Zealand.
"My friends and I were just standing, talking and then we just had ... a lot of beer being spat at us and we looked and then my friend and I were shocked at what was happening, I told the guy, 'Look here, that's not OK, you don't do that', and he just flat out ignored us and walked away, he looked at us with a dead stare and just walked away."
At that point, it's said that a friend of Mo'unga's approached the group of women and they told him that what had occurred was not OK.
"He says, 'No, we're sorry, it won't happen again,'" the woman said.
Mo'unga has also been accused of inappropriately touching one of the women later in the evening.
"And then I noticed the guy behind me, and then he like pinched me on my bum and then as I was going to retaliate, my friend was like 'no don't, it's not worth it', leaving him and he just also had that like dead look on his face, he had no reaction ... carried on partying, everything," the woman said.
The woman later reached out to Mo'unga on social media after realising the player's identity the following day.
Screenshots of the messages obtained by Radio New Zealand reveal that Mo'unga, who made his All Blacks debut last year and would seem the likely back-up to Beauden Barrett at this year's World Cup campaign, was "intoxicated" and, although he didn't remember the encounter, apologised.
"I'm really sorry for that. I'm not aware that I did that. Obviously was intoxicated and should've gone home long before that stage, I'm sorry to you and your friends and want to assure you I don't condone that behaviour and am sorry about that," Mo'unga is alleged to have responded.
However, in light of the alleged homophobic incident on Saturday following the draw against the Stormers, the woman decided to come out.
It is believed she is trying to obtain security footage from the bar.
"I'm not letting this slide because you can do this to me now and I let it slide, he goes to New Zealand and does something way worse ... I just want to present it while I have a chance to," she told Radio New Zealand.
"I just feel like something needs to be done because, like I said, this is something small thing, it might be minuscule 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."
The Crusaders and New Zealand Rugby have yet to comment about the alleged incident.
Last month, Mo'unga signed a three-year contract extension with the Crusaders and New Zealand Rugby, keeping the playmaker in the country until 2022.