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Chiefs lock Allardice sorry for comments

NZN 2/08/2016

Chiefs lock Michael Allardice has apologised for offensive comments that he says were directed at a Super Rugby teammate and not at a member of the public.

The incident happened at the Okoroire Hot Springs in Tirau on Monday and another person who was there, Brendan Barraclough, complained about homophobic slurs being directed at him.

Allardice admitted on Tuesday that he had made "a rude comment" during a post-season team bonding session after the Chiefs's semi-final defeat to the Hurricanes.

But he said it was directed not at Mr Barraclough, but at another Chiefs player.

"I was not aware he was there, or that he had mistaken these comments as being directed at him - they were not," he said in a statement.

"I have today contacted Brendan and apologised for the offence caused by my inappropriate comments, regardless of who they were directed at."

Allardice said he assured Mr Barraclough that he had intended no malice in his actions, for which he took full responsibility.

"I am deeply embarrassed and ashamed of the hurt I've caused Brendan and the wider LGBT community and anyone else who I have offended by my comments," he said.

"I casually used very poor language and have learned a very big lesson today."

Allardice said he had also apologised to the Chiefs, adding that his behaviour on Monday did not reflect the values of the team or organisation.

Mr Barraclough, in a Facebook post, had earlier said a Chiefs player had yelled "here come the gays" and other comments at him.

"How they think this is ok in this day in age is beyond me," he said.

"These are `famous' sportsmen that we are meant to be able to look up to however today they have proven that's not a privilege certain members of the team deserve! Just revolting."

Chiefs CEO Andrew Flexman said he had personally apologised to Mr Barraclough.

"We need to make some decisions if some form of disciplinary action is appropriate and what is the appropriate action to take," he said.

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