New Zealand Rugby shocked as player admits rape intent

  • A rugby player has pleaded guilty to assaulting a woman with intent to rape
  • Mid Canterbury player Kolinio Yabia Tamanitoakula appeared in Gisborne District Court yesterday
  • Judge Warren Cathcart remanded Tamanitoakula on bail for sentencing on June 9
New Zealand Rugby has expressed shock on Thursday after a provincial player pleaded guilty in court to assault with intent to rape.

Mid-Canterbury player Koli Tamanitoakula pleaded guilty in Gisborne District Court on Wednesday and will reportedly be sentenced in June.

The attack reportedly occurred about 4am on October 16 in downtown Gisborne after Tamanitoakula’s team had played a match in the town.


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It is the latest off-field scandal to plague New Zealand rugby and threatens to overshadow the launch of the Super Rugby season this week.

“New Zealand Rugby expects players at all levels of the game to act with basic decency and within the law,” NZR chief executive Steve Tew said.

“We are shocked by Koli’s actions and our thoughts go out to his victim.”

Mid-Canterbury Rugby chief Ian Patterson said he was “appalled” at Tamanitoakula.

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