WELLINGTON (Reuters) - All Blacks back Jordie Barrett has said “human error” rather than alcohol was to blame for entering the apartment of a complete stranger and eating a takeaway meal in the early hours of Saturday morning.
Barrett, the youngest of three brothers in the New Zealand squad for the June series against France, made the mistake after a night out in Dunedin following a Super Rugby match in the southern city on Friday.
The 21-year-old Wellington Hurricanes fullback explained that he and a friend had been at McDonalds before they went on to visit someone else, but ended up in the wrong apartment.
“He thought it was his mate’s house and it wasn’t,” Barrett told reporters at Wellington airport before flying to Auckland to join the All Blacks squad.
“I’m assuming they called the cops because they heard someone in the house ... a few minutes later the penny dropped and we realised it wasn’t their house and we left.
“I can’t say I’m embarrassed by what’s happened, I’m just disappointed with the events that have unfolded. I don’t believe I’ve caused any harm to anyone.
“Basically, it was a human error, I walked into the wrong flat and then we left. I had a couple of drinks with mates, but I can recall everything that happened that night and I was not intoxicated.”
Another member of the All Blacks squad, winger Rieko Ioane, was also left with some explaining to do after some post-match socialising on Saturday.
The Auckland Blues back, also 21, was treated for a cut above his eye after “hi-jinks” with another player at a “small gathering at a private residence” resulted in him taking a knock, the Super Rugby team said in a news release.
“We were just poking fun at each other,” Ioane was quoted as saying. “It’s not serious and I’ve apologised to my team mates and the club.”
New Zealand face France at Eden Park next Saturday in the first of three tests.
Reporting by Nick Mulvenney; Editing by Peter Rutherford