Aaron Smith has stood down from Wallabies test
Aaron Smith has stood down from Saturday's Bledisloe Cup test against the Wallabies at Eden Park in Auckland as the fallout from the disabled toilet incident in Christchurch continues.
New Zealand Rugby on Monday conducted a disciplinary meeting with the All Blacks halfback, it announced.
The misconduct proceedings followed revelations of an incident at Christchurch Airport on September 18, after the All Blacks' test win against South Africa the night before.
The All Blacks star was seen entering a disabled toilet with a female. He was sent home from South Africa by the All Blacks touring party after the team learned of the incident earlier this month.
The disciplinary matter was heard over two hours by a panel chaired by New Zealand Rugby General Manager Rugby Neil Sorensen.
"It's important to note that as an employment matter, it is not usual to comment publicly on proceedings. However, both Aaron and his legal representative, and New Zealand Rugby acknowledge that in the circumstances, there is a need to make some public comment," Sorensen said.
NZR said in a statement that "in light of the impact on the reputation of All Blacks jersey, and the commercial partners, Aaron's actions amounted to serious misconduct".
Smith will be issued with a formal warning and he has voluntarily stood down from assembling with the All Blacks for Saturday's test in Auckland.
He will forfeit his selection fees.
The NZR statement said Smith is "committed to getting the support he needs to deal with personal issues and to work on his relationship with his partner".
"Aaron presented himself as genuine, honest and incredibly remorseful. We have also taken into account the fact that the very public nature of this incident, has had a significant impact on him personally.
"We accepted that he is genuine about wanting to improve himself and note that he himself has acknowledged he will need the support of his family, friends and Rugby to move forward.
"We also noted that Aaron had already made a very public apology to his partner, friends and family, team mates, his employer, and rugby fans and he had already served a one-week stand down."
According to the statement, both parties have agreed that no further comment will be made on the incident.