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Rugby player banned for racial abuse

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 7/07/2016

A Canterbury Maori rugby representative has been banned for nearly a year after making racially abusive comments in a club match.

Bronson Munro, who plays for Waihora in the Canterbury club rugby competition, was suspended for 46 weeks after being found guilty of racially abusing a Southbridge player in a match between the two teams last month.

Southbridge laid a complaint, which was heard by the Canterbury metropolitan judicial committee of misconduct.

Munro, 23, was found guilty and suspended from all rugby matches, including any on-field activities, until May 31 next year.

Canterbury Rugby's general manager of community rugby, Tim Gilkison, said the suspension was at the serious end of the sanction available.

"This sort of racial abuse is simply unacceptable, either in rugby or in society in general," he said.

"We are committed to doing anything in our power to stamp out this sort of behaviour in our game, but we can only act when we receive a complaint.

"That's why we are encouraging all of those involved in the game to come forward, as Southbridge Rugby Club did, when such behaviour is witnessed."

Waihora Rugby Club has also been put on notice regarding the conduct of its players and spectators at any future games.

Gilkison said the judicial committee didn't usually release its findings, but had decided to do so in light of public and media speculation about the incident.

"We also hope it serves as a timely reminder to others that we will simply not condone any form of racism in rugby."

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