Rugby-All Black Frizell apologises after Dunedin court appearance

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(Reuters) - New Zealand's Shannon Frizell issued an apology on Tuesday after appearing in court charged with three accounts of assault during an incident at a Dunedin nightclub in May.

The 27-year-old loose forward was accused of two offences of assaulting a woman and one charge of common assault at an appearance at Dunedin District Court.

Frizell did not enter a plea during the hearing and was offered a diversion by the judge as a first time offender before issuing a statement outside the court house.

A diversion allows first time offenders to work with the police to take responsibility for the offence without acquiring a criminal record.

"I would like to take this opportunity to say how very sorry I am for my behaviour during [the] incident in May this year," Frizell said, according to New Zealand media outlets.

"I would especially like to say sorry to the two people involved and for the harm I have caused.

"I let myself and others down and will now try to do everything I can to restore peoples' faith in me.

"I have already put a plan in place with counsellors to help me address the areas I want to work on.

"Once again, I'd like to apologise to the people involved, my friends, family and the wider community."

Frizell was granted bail and ordered not to consume alcohol or contact either victim until his next appearance in September.

Frizell featured in the All Blacks' July tests against Fiji and was named in their squad for the upcoming Bledisloe Cup against Australia and the following Rugby Championship.

(Reporting by Michael Church in Hong Kong, Editing by Simon Cameron-Moore)

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