Former All Black Byron Kelleher arrested in France for domestic violence - report

Byron Kelleher performs the haka with the All Blacks at Eden Park in 2007. Photo / Getty Images
Byron Kelleher performs the haka with the All Blacks at Eden Park in 2007. Photo / Getty Images

Former All Black halfback Byron Kelleher has been arrested for "destruction and domestic violence" according to French reports.

The newspaper L'equippe is reporting that Toulouse police arrested Kelleher drunk in the streets. Reports said he vandalised a door and attacked a woman he was with.

The public television channel France 3 alleged the woman refused to complain to police "for fear of reprisals".

The 39-year-old runs a rugby-themed bar called Haka Corner in Toulouse, where he played rugby until five years ago.

Kelleher has faced two previous charges of drink driving and was in a brawl after a crash while drink driving for which he was fined and received a two-month suspended sentence.

Following the 2009 incident, Kelleher made a public apology to local media.

"It should never have taken this turn,'' he told La Depeche, with the help of an interpreter. "I got stupidly upset. Especially because of the alcohol and I had false friends who dragged me to do the wrong thing.

"I don't want people from Toulouse to think this is normal and that what happened doesn't affect me.

"I am not a mercenary who comes to play for a year or two, takes his money and comes back home.''

Kelleher, right, with Dan Carter and Aaron Smith in the All Blacks dressing room in Paris in 2013. Photo / Getty Images
Kelleher, right, with Dan Carter and Aaron Smith in the All Blacks dressing room in Paris in 2013. Photo / Getty Images

Kelleher made his All Blacks debut in 1999 after impressing for the Highlanders at Super Rugby level. He played 57 tests for New Zealand from 1999 to 2007 as he regularly battled Justin Marshall for the starting halfback spot.

Following the 2007 Rugby World Cup he left New Zealand to take on a contract with French side Toulouse before joining Stade Français in 2011. He retired from all rugby in 2012.

- NZ Herald

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