All Blacks: Justin Marshall and Akira Ioane confrontation ‘disappointing’

Colin Newboult

All Blacks head coach Ian Foster has weighed into the debate after Justin Marshall and Akira Ioane were seen having an argument outside a pub.

The incident occurred following New Zealand’s latest defeat to Ireland in Wellington.

Ex-All Black Marshall, who now works as a pundit for Sky, and current back-row Ioane exchanged words before Caleb Clarke stepped in and told the 48-year-old to walk away.

The clip was posted online and has only added to the problems for New Zealand Rugby in what has been a turbulent couple of weeks.

“Reality is it’s disappointing,” Foster said.

“It’s disappointing that two people were mouthing off a little bit at each other. I wish it hadn’t happened.”

Spoken to both parties

Foster revealed that he has spoken to both Marshall and Ioane, and also stated that he was frustrated the clip was put on the internet.

“Yes, I’ve talked to both people involved, and I know they’ve had a conversation with each other and there are no issues going forward,” he said.

“I’m also not overly impressed that people think they should film that stuff and spread it, because two people arguing in a pub I don’t think as big an issue as people make it.”

There were questions as to whether Marshall would keep his job, but his employers have already moved on from the incident.

“We’re obviously aware that Justin and Akira exchanged words on Saturday night,” Sky TV boss Chris Major told the New Zealand Herald.

“It’s been covered in the media in recent days and we have no further comment to make on it.

“Justin is part of our Sky team travelling to South Africa to cover the two Tests, and we’re looking forward to delivering great coverage and commentary for our customers on the 7th and 14th of August.”

Core values

Meanwhile, a NZR statement said: “Our security was managing the group in a separate area at the venue.

“We have contacted venue staff and spoken at length with players and security staff, who recall words being exchanged with another individual as they were leaving. Our security proceeded to escort our players to their transport.

“Behaving responsibly is one of the core values in our team environment. The group were working to meet their curfew and when faced with a tricky situation, they did what they could to ensure everyone departed safely at the appropriate time.”

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