Frizell returns to All Blacks after assault charge dismissed


All Blacks locks Scott Barrett and Patrick Tuipulotu will return to New Zealand and skip the five-game north tour, with Taranaki, 20, and Chiefs second rower Josh Lord called up as team bolter.

Barrett, who has appeared in every game of the Rugby Championship, starting four of the six games, has her first baby due in November and wants to be there for the birth.

Tuipulotu is set to take a sabbatical with Japanese club Toyota Verblitz in 2022, but is due to bond with the team at the end of this year, and he has a young girl to consider.

Both players secured places at MIQ at a time when other New Zealand athletes such as triathlete Hayden Wilde and doubles tennis specialist Michael Venus, both of whom won bronze medals at the Tokyo Olympics. , expressed frustration at not being able to return home.

Other athletes affected by access to MIQ include Paige Hareb, who pulled out of the World Surfing League’s challenger series last month because she couldn’t secure a spot.

Several members of the City Kickboxing Gym in Auckland, including UFC middleweight champion Israel Adesanya and UFC lightweight contender Dan Hooker, have expressed their desire to move to America for the sake of their careers, due to the lockdowns and the MIQ situation in New Zealand.

Thousands of New Zealanders abroad have also failed attempts to secure MIQ seats in the much-criticized lottery reservation system.

With Barrett and Tuipulotu returning home, All Blacks coach Ian Foster made the surprise call to include Lord, the 2.02m, 106kg lock who played five Super Rugby games for the Chiefs, ahead of the competitor of the Quinten Strange Crusaders and the second rower of the Highlanders Pari Pari Parkinson.

All Blacks centurion Sam Whitelock, injured captain Sam Cane, hooker Dane Coles and loose forward Shannon Frizell will also join the team in Washington DC, where they begin their five-game north tour.

Last month, Frizell faced criminal charges, which included two charges of assaulting men and women and another of common assault in a nightclub incident in May, dismissed against him after completing the diversion. He was denied a visa to enter Australia while the case was before the courts.

Frizell attacked a man, and slapped and punched a woman in the late-night incident on May 9, then followed him with an abusive social media message to a friend of one of the victims.

“F *** you fucking tell your friend to hide, I’m going to fuck up everybody fuck the wrong guy,” we read (sic).

Frizell’s case was appealed to Dunedin District Court on September 14, although his presence was excused.

Prosecutor Sergeant Chris George has confirmed that the Highlanders star has qualified for his diversion and that the two charges of assault against a woman and one of common assault have been officially dismissed by Judge Peter Rollo.

Since there was no formal guilty plea, there was never a summary of the facts describing the details of the violence submitted to the court.

After Frizell’s first hearing in July, he apologized outside of court and said he would “now try to do whatever I can to restore people’s confidence in me”.

“I already have a plan in place with advisors to help me tackle the areas I want to work on. “

The words were of little consolation to the mother of his female victim.

She told the Otago Daily Schedules Frizell had “walked away with nothing more than a slap on the hand.”

“[My daughter] was ignored and his full actions were dismissed, ”she said.

“The man scared my daughter and that’s the worst thing to see.”

The full All Blacks squad has 65 MIQ places on their way home after the final game of the year against France in Paris on November 20.

Foster said: “From a physical point of view, we have been through the rugby championship very well. Therefore, we have decided to add fewer players than planned for the next part of our 12 week tour. NPC Bunnings continuing through November means we’re able to bring in potential replacements as well, if needed. “


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