Former All Black Byron Kelleher out of jail after domestic violence arrest

Byron Kelleher has been accused of attacking his partner. Photo / Getty Images
Byron Kelleher has been accused of attacking his partner. Photo / Getty Images

Ex-All Black Byron Kelleher has been released from police custody following his arrest in France for "destruction and domestic violence".

French media reported that the former New Zealand rugby star was ordered to reappear before the courts in November.

Kelleher has been accused of causing damage to the front door where he lives while intoxicated and attacking his partner.

The former All Black, 57 caps between 1999 and 2007, had dealt with the law in 2009 following a brawl that occurred in Toulouse after a collision while driving drunk. He also briefly taken into custody in October 2013 for "driving while intoxicated" in Bordeaux.

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 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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