Connacht full-back Mils Muliaina did not realise he was going to be arrested when police confronted him after a game in Gloucester on Friday.
That was the word from the former All Black's agent Simon Porter, who told Newstalk ZB that the arrest – over a sexual assault allegation levelled against him in Cardiff – came as a "complete shock" to Muliaina who thought he was being taken in for random drug testing.
Muliaina spent about 20 hours at Cardiff Bay Police station after being taken away by police officers on live television at the Kingsholm Stadium following Connacht's European Challenge Cup defeat to Gloucester.
"He had a night in the police cells, he's pretty distressed, trying to deal with it, and it came as an absolute shock to him," said Porter.
Muliaina's lawyer Matthew de Maid said the 34-year-old, who played in 100 Tests for New Zealand, has denied the allegation made against him.
"He's not been charged with any offence and has in fact been released whilst police carry out further investigation," De Maid told New Zealand's ONE News.
"Whether he will or not remains to be seen.
"I've got a certain view which I won't express on camera."
The assault is alleged to have taken place after Connacht's defeat at Cardiff Blues on March 6.
Connacht have released a statement regarding Muliaina's arrest.
"Connacht Rugby can confirm that player Mils Muliaina is currently assisting the South Wales Police with enquiries relating to an alleged incident in Cardiff in March of this year," it said.
"As this is a legal matter, Connacht Rugby will be making no further comment at this time."