Daniel Richardson is a Wellington-based sports journalist for NZME. News Service.

Rugby: Cory Jane opens up about sleeping pill incident

Cory Jane. Photo /Getty Images
Cory Jane. Photo /Getty Images

All Black wing Cory Jane says he has no recollection of the night out he and Israel Dagg were involved in during the Rugby World Cup in 2011 but denies the pair went out to mix sleeping pills and energy drinks.

Jane and Dagg were spotted acting curiously at a Takapuna Bar only a few days out before New Zealand's quarter-final against Argentina and it was revealed last week the pair may have indulged in mixing the pills with energy drinks in a bid to create a legal high.

New Zealand Rugby chief executive Steve Tew spoke about the now infamous night out for the first time last week and said Jane and Dagg had been involved in a childish game to see who could stay up the latest after taking sleeping pills. Tew also said the pair were drinking on the night in question.

Jane, who spoke with reporters before Hurricanes training in Newtown today, said the night began when he and Dagg decided to take two sleeping pills, after receiving a massage at the team hotel, to help them sleep before a big training session the next day.

The outside backs then decided to go and grab dinner but Jane said the pills took over and he had little memory of the evening.

"There was no mixing with energy drinks,'' Jane said. "There was no thought of going out to the pub and drinking ... We just happened to go out quickly to get something to eat and they kicked in and we were on autopilot and I woke up the next morning thinking I'd had the best sleep ever and then found out that we'd gone out.''

Jane said it was a scary position to put himself in and acknowledged he had used sleeping pills in the past to help him cope with timezone changes but had never indulged in mixing them with energy drinks.

The error in judgement between he and Dagg was in the timing when they took the pills, Jane said.

"We didn't really plan to go out, we just made the mistake of taking the sleeping pills instead of when we jumped in to bed knowing we were going to go to sleep. [Instead] we took them and then quickly tried to go and get something to eat and that was that.''

Jane played down suggestions that taking sleeping pills and mixing them with energy drinks was a widespread problem in rugby.

The New Zealand rugby league team has recently come under scrutiny following revelations that players mixed sleeping pills and energy drinks during last year's World Cup.

"There's been rumours that a few of the leaguies have done it but I can't tell you. I wouldn't have a clue,'' Jane said. "I know that two-and-a-half years that I did it and I regret it.''


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