Aaron Smith publicly apologised to his partner, his family and all of New Zealand rugby after being suspended for Saturday’s Test.
Smith was punished after he was seen entering a disabled toilet with a woman at Christchurch airport following the All Blacks’ win over South Africa last month.
The All Blacks scrum-half gave a brief, emotional statement to the media at the team’s hotel in Durban prior to his return home to New Zealand.
“I’ve made a huge mistake, a huge error in judgment. I’d firstly like to say a huge sorry to my partner Teagan, her family, my family,” Smith told TVNZ.
“I’m also sorry to my team-mates, NZRU and the New Zealand fans.
“My behaviour was unacceptable and if you could respect me and my partner in this situation. I’m just trying to get home to deal with this. Thank you.”