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Otago Highlanders to 'thoroughly investigate' players' drunken bender at Queenstown hotel

July 26, 2020 11:40 am
Queenstown hotel

Highlanders management say they are investigating claims players wreaked havoc during a wild night in Queenstown.

The Herald on Sunday revealed today that partying Highlanders caused damage to an apartment complex players were staying in, leaving guests feeling intimidated and one man in police custody.

Police confirmed a 24-year-old – who is not a Highlanders player – had been arrested after a call-out to The Glebe Apartments about 4am on Saturday.

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Highlanders CEO Roger Clark confirmed in a statement today that police were called to a disturbance at a Queenstown apartment block where some players were staying.

“We can confirm at this stage no Highlanders players were arrested,” he said.

“However, we will thoroughly investigate reports of the behaviour and establish the facts, if any of our players have not lived up to our expected standards, action will be taken.”

The group – including at least four Highlanders – travelled to the tourist destination during the side’s bye this weekend in Super Rugby Aotearoa.

Yesterday morning one member – who is not part of the Highlanders’ player roster – was arrested and charged with wilful damage and disorderly behaviour. The man, 24 will appear in court tomorrow.

Some of the antics of the players and friends were believed to be caught on camera.

The conduct of Highlanders’ players was been slammed by a guest who said their actions – including at least two players who urinated in a public courtyard at The Glebe apartments shortly before 4am – left guests feeling intimidated.

“They were yelling and screaming all night,” he claimed. “They trashed the place. Holes had been punched in the walls.”

Guests were left fuming by the group’ actions, with some feeling intimidated by their behaviour, he said.

“There were people there staying with their families.

“These guys are meant to be role models to kids and world rugby. I have never seen anything like this. There is nothing wrong with having a good time . . . but this was next level.”

Highlanders players were given the chance to put their feet up this weekend as they enjoyed a bye from competition after a thrilling 33-31 win over the Chiefs in Hamilton last Sunday.

But what started out as an afternoon soaking up the sights of the tourist wonderland, including visiting local vineyards, later spiralled out of control for some.

The Glebe manager Anne Henley confirmed there had been an incident at the premises overnight Saturday involving guests but did not wish to comment further and referred the Herald on Sunday to police.

A police spokesperson confirmed called to a breach of the peace at a Queenstown apartment building about 4am on Saturday.

A 24-year-old man was arrested and is due to appear in Queenstown District Court on Monday, charged with wilful damage and disorderly behavior.

“We have no further details with regard to occupation,” the spokesperson said.

The Herald on Sunday was told by a source that the man lashed out at a police car sent to investigate the incident, kicking it several times before he was arrested.

The guest who talked about the wild night had said members of the group had already been “rowdy” on Friday afternoon before going into central Queenstown for a night out.

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