New Zealand rugby player Doug Howlett apologised to fans and team-mates on Wednesday for his ‘tomfoolery’ after he was arrested for damaging cars outside the All Blacks' hotel in London.
The team's record try-scorer was detained on suspicion of causing criminal damage to two cars outside the Hilton Hotel at Heathrow Airport, west London.
The 29-year-old said he was embarrassed by the incident and was working with the police to contact the cars' owners to fix the damage.
‘I would like to say that I am sorry for what has happened,’ he said in a video statement released by the All Blacks and the New Zealand Rugby Union.
‘I am embarrassed that the events of one evening have led to me being in this situation. It was a little bit of tomfoolery that has caused me to be here.
‘I apologise to people back home, family and friends, the New Zealand public, fans and my team-mates.
‘There was drink involved, and that's not an excuse, but I do take responsibility for what I've done.’
Media reports said Howlett was alleged to have jumped on two vehicles in the car park of the hotel where the squad was staying.
Howlett set a New Zealand try-scoring record in a World Cup pool game against Scotland last month. He was dropped for his side's shock quarter-final defeat to France on Saturday.
All Blacks Manager Darren Shand said Howlett was the only member of the team involved in the incident.
‘We are waiting for the police to conclude their inquiries. Once that occurs, we will initiate our own process to look into the incident and related issues,’ he said in a statement on the All Blacks' Web site, www.allblacks.com.
‘It is a serious matter and we are concerned that something of this nature has occurred at what is already a disappointing time for the team and for our supporters.’
A Metropolitan Police Service spokeswoman said Howlett was released on police bail pending further inquiries.
He must report to police on an unspecified date later this month.
He is due to join up with the Munster squad soon.
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