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Rugby player admits attempted rape

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 23/02/2017
<span style="font-size:13px;">Low-risk young offenders aged 17 will be dealt with by the Youth Court from 2019, the government says.</span> © Getty Low-risk young offenders aged 17 will be dealt with by the Youth Court from 2019, the government says.

A Mid-Canterbury rugby player has admitted a charge of attempted rape following his side's match against East Coast in Ruatoria last year, prompting condemnation from rugby bosses.

Koli Tamanitoakula, 25, appeared via video link in Gisborne District Court this week, where he pleaded guilty to the charge.

In a statement, Mid-Canterbury Rugby chief executive Ian Patterson says they expect a high standard of personal behaviour from their players.

"We are appalled at Koli, and his behaviour was wrong. It was right for him to take responsibility for his actions and plead guilty," he said.

"Koli was immediately taken out of the team environment following the incident and has stayed outside of it."

New Zealand Rugby chief executive Steve Tew backed the comments.

"New Zealand Rugby expects players at all levels of the game to act with basic decency and within the law. We are shocked by Koli's actions and our thoughts go out to his victim."

Tamanitoakula was charged following an incident understood to have happened a day after Mid Canterbury played East Coast in Ruatoria in October.

He will be sentenced in June.

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