Chiefs reprimanded after stripper incident

Date published: September 7 2016

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The Chief's entire playing roster have been issued with formal cautions by New Zealand Rugby (NZR) after hiring a stripper to perform at an end-of-season function.

The NZR revealed their findings into the matter on Wednesday. Allegations also emerged of sexual assault but an NZR-led investigation determined they were unfounded and the police are not pursuing the matter either.

However, the NZR condemned the hiring of a stripper and therefore issued cautions even to the more than a dozen Chiefs players who did not attend the gathering at the Okoroire Hot Springs Hotel.

Taking their "celebration" to a public venue was the big error the Chiefs made," said head coach Dave Rennie. Rennie wasn't at the event but said he was "tarnished" along with everyone else.

The story, he added, was unlikely to have come to light if the team had kept their activities behind closed doors.

"Absolutely. We thought that's what was happening, going out to a country pub [which] had a private bar, were going to have a lot of fun and so on and maybe that's our [the Chiefs' management group] issue. We needed to ask more questions and dig a little bit deeper to find out," Rennie told stuff.co.nz.

"But they've earnt that trust. They've been such a great bunch of guys. But in the end we've got to take responsibility around that."

NZR chief executive Steve Tew said the venue wasn't the issue, but the idea of adding an exotic dancer to the equation. In his view that type of thing wasn't okay, ever.

"We're far from satisfied that a group of our professional players would engage this type of entertainment," Tew said.

"We're far from satisfied that they then allowed that entertainment to take place in, effectively, a public space and we're far from satisfied that we had enough structures in place ourselves to stop this happening in advance of this occurring, so we've got work to do as well."

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