Baby Blacks at centre of rape claim
June 25, 2012
The JWC final took place at Newlands on Friday evening © Getty Images
South African police have confirmed they are investigating an alleged sexual assault involving a member of the New Zealand U20 squad.
Local media reports that a woman has alleged she was raped on Friday night following the IRB Junior World Championship final at Newlands where South Africa claimed a 22-16 victory over New Zealand.
"We are investigating a case of rape after a 22-year-old Cape Town woman alleged she was raped," national police spokesman Vish Naidoo told AFP. "It is alleged the rape took place during the course of Friday night."
Initial claims that the assault involved four members of the squad have since been rejected by New Zealand general manager Neil Sorenson. Following the squad's return home, he told the New Zealand Herald that he understood the allegation is focused on only one player and that the squad had "co-operated fully" with South African police, "after which police advised they were happy for all members of the team to travel home".
"Neither team management nor NZRU have been contacted by the local authorities since then or advised of any further issues or enquiries," Sorensen told the newspaper. "If we are contacted we will co-operate and help in any way we can.
"The team has just returned from South Africa and we will discuss the matter further with team management in due course."
On Tuesday, the NZRU's Steve Tew said that the accused player was "very upset" but that the organisation were fully co-operating with the South African police. "We are dealing with a very serious situation. We are providing our team and particularly the player involved with appropriate support, but we are also co-operating fully with any inquiries," Tew said. "It's disappointing, but let's be clear, we're still dealing with an allegation, no charges have been laid, no one has been detained, no one has even been to a police station.
"He's given us his version of events and the police are trying to piece together what might have happened. They're the experts and we'll leave them to do their job."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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