Savea released on bail

Date published: April 22 2013

All Blacks wing Julian Savea entered no plea and was remanded on bail when he appeared in court charged with assaulting his girlfriend.

All Blacks wing Julian Savea entered no plea and was remanded on bail when he appeared in court, on Monday, charged with assaulting his girlfriend.

Savea, who has fronted a nationwide campaign condemning domestic violence, made a brief appearance in front of a packed media gallery at the Wellington District Court.

The Hurricanes speedster was charged with assaulting Dawn Rodgers, the mother of his child, on April 15 and was ordered to appear again next month.

Judge Anthony Walsh stipulated Savea must live at a different address from his partner and should not attempt to contact her.

At a news conference on Sunday, a tearful Savea made an apology to his partner and her family.

“I did some things that are wrong and that I shouldn't have done and I apologise for that,” he said.

“Whilst I can't go into the details because it is now before the courts, I understand that the details will come out in due course,” he said.

Meanwhile, Hurricanes boss Mark Hammett has defended his decision to play Savea in their match against the Western Force in Wellington on Friday.

The Hurricanes have been criticised for allowing Savea to play despite knowing that he was charged with assault.

Hammett revealed that he had only found out about Savea's off field problems on Thursday, a day before the match.

“The first thoughts were to find out the facts made,” Hammett told Fairfax Media, when asked what his initial reaction had been.

“There was a lot of consultation, with Julian and myself, and other parties. We'd never play someone if it was going to effect the individual or the team.”

Savea put in a subdued performance in the Hurricanes' 22-16 victory but Hammett rejected the assertion that the 22-year-old's form was affected by the incident with Rogers.

“Players have up and down games all the time, so I'd say no,” added Hammett.

He would not say whether Savea would be selected to for Friday's game against the Stormers in Palmerston North, but the situation has taken on a new light since the decision was made to play the wing last week.

“Of course he has been shaken, that was obvious last night you guys would have seen that in the media,” explained Hammett. “Of course he's shaken by it.”