Tess Nichol is an NZME. News Service reporter.

Hurricanes boss warns team not to repeat Chiefs scandal after tonight's game

Hurricanes players are under strict instruction to be on their best behaviour after tonight's Super Rugby final. Photo/ Mark Mitchell
Hurricanes players are under strict instruction to be on their best behaviour after tonight's Super Rugby final. Photo/ Mark Mitchell

Hurricanes boss Avan Lee says the team are under strict instruction not to repeat the Chiefs' mistakes after tonight's game, win or lose.

Speaking with Radio Sport's Tony Veitch, Lee said the Canes' management had been extensively planning the team's after-match event, down to what kind of food would be provided and how much alcohol would be available.

The Hurricanes will face the Lions in tonight's Super Rugby final in Wellington, giving them another shot to take home the cup for the first time ever.

"It's really important to manage those events," Lee told the radio host.

"We've had various conversations about the next couple of days. The boys will want to celebrate together or commiserate together and that's pretty normal for any business."

However it was paramount the Hurricanes players behaved themselves, Lee said.

The Chiefs made headlines this week when a stripper hired for their Mad Monday booze up following their loss to the Hurricanes last week alleged players inappropriately licked and touched her as well as threw gravel at her.

As a result, Hurricanes coach Chris Boyd cancelled his team's Mad Monday celebrations next week.

"You're only good as your last act and it's an awful shame for the Chiefs because they've been a magnificent team," Lee said.

"There is an enquiry so we just have to wait to see how that pans out. It's a tough time for everyone at the moment."

There was a big difference between getting together for some drinks and behaving in a way which attracted public ridicule, Lee said.

"I don't want to be big brother about this but there's been a number if instances in various different sports that aren't a great look and we're trying to build an organisation people can be proud of. You just can't let yourself down," he said.

Management would be with the team on Sunday as a group, some of whom would not be drinking to make sure they could keep an eye on the festivities.

"On Saturday night we're having a meal together after the game, win or lose, so there is some structure to that activity.

"We've planned everything from where they go, what they're eating, what alcohol is provided, whose there. We have buses organised to take them from one venue to another ... so there's no interaction with any member of the public."

Lee said he had confidence in his players, many of whom he considered to be very mature.

"But no one's perfect, so we've got to sit down with the guys well this is what we think is appropriate, what do you want to do - and it's got to be regular dialogue, we do it all the time."

When asked by Veitch whether he agreed public perception of what was acceptable behaviour for the team, Lee said he did and it was "the way of the world" and he would be doing what he could to make sure his players met those expectations.

"It's all well and good for me to say we've got some structure and management around them, you can't be arrogant and think ... there won't be a problem."

- NZ Herald

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