A remorseful Tolu Latu has been stood down by the Waratahs for at least the next two rounds after being charged with drink driving and failing to tell the club.
Latu met with the Rugby Australia Integrity Committee and Rugby Union Players’ Association (RUPA) on Monday after being picked up by police for an alleged DUI offence last Thursday.
The Waratahs did not know about the incident until contacted by media for comment on Saturday, just hours before they played against the Reds in Brisbane.
Latu faces court on June 6 and a statement issued by New South Wales Rugby on Tuesday said the Wallabies hooker would be stood down from playing duties until that date.
He could potentially face further sanctions, with the statement also saying Latu would be subject to a Rugby Australia Code of Conduct process, pending the outcome of the hearing.
“Tolu’s actions are a serious breach of the standards we set for the players, coaches and staff both on and off the field,” said New South Wales Rugby boss Andrew Hore.
“He is regretful of his actions and has taken full responsibility and NSW Waratahs will provide him with the necessary support and further education.
“We expressed our disappointment in the manner which we were notified of this issue as we expect our players to be open and honest with our wider team.”
In the same statement, Latu expressed remorse for his actions and failing to notify his club, and said he will accept whatever sanctions come his way.
“I’m disappointed with my actions, because I recognise the seriousness of this situation,” he said.
“I want to apologise to my team-mates and New South Wales Rugby Union. I also want to apologise to the rugby community, I know that my actions do not reflect well on the game.
“I take full responsibility for what has happened, and I will accept any potential sanctions from my court case.
“I also recognise I should have spoken to the coach earlier.
“I will accept the support from the NSW Waratahs, RUPA and my own support networks to ensure that I don’t find myself in this position again.”