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Wellington Rugby open to Filipo's return

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 20/12/2016
Losi Filipo of Wellington tries to get past TJ Vaega of Auckland A during the Jock Hobbs Memorial Under 19 Rugby Graham Mourie Cup Semi Final Wellington v Auckland A on September 18, 2016 at Owen Delany Park in Taupo, New Zealand.  (Photo by Kerry Marshall/Getty Images) © Kerry Marshall/ Getty Images Losi Filipo of Wellington tries to get past TJ Vaega of Auckland A during the Jock Hobbs Memorial Under 19 Rugby Graham Mourie Cup Semi Final Wellington v Auckland A on September 18, 2016 at Owen Delany Park in Taupo, New Zealand. (Photo by Kerry Marshall/Getty Images)

The Wellington Rugby Football Union is open to resigning disgraced player Losi Filipo but he must serve his sentence and show he is behaving, it says.

Filipo is serving a sentence of nine months' supervision for his part in an early morning street attack on four people in Wellington last year after his discharge without conviction was appealed in the wake of a public outcry.

It was earlier agreed his contract would be terminated.

Following a report into how the union handled the case, released on Wednesday, chairman Iain Potter says it is open to resigning him.

Filipo, still in his teens, had indicated he wanted to keep playing rugby and understood what was required, Potter said.

"He's got a sentence that he needs to go through and obviously we will then judge it after that."

Filipo also had to demonstrate he was "acting in manner consistent with expectations" and still be playing well.

"He can't fail in any one of those three."

The union was keeping in touch with Filipo, monitoring his general wellbeing.

Chief executive Steve Rogers says the union still has a duty of care, despite Filipo's assault being unacceptable.

"Does that mean that rugby casts that player away from the sport? No it doesn't because we have the responsibility of duty of care, which I think that sport in general, rugby in particular, plays a really good part in society to deliver that message."

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