One of the biggest names in New Zealand sport has pleaded not guilty over his alleged role in the importation and supply of methamphetamine.
However, he still cannot be named.
The interim name suppression order, first granted by Judge John Macdonald, was extended today by Judge Peter Rollo to protect the ongoing police investigation.
The accused appeared in a Manukau District Court dock alongside a co-accused and the pair were both remanded to appear in February next year.
Both men were silent during the brief hearing, as their respective lawyers entered the not guilty pleas.
"They have each pleaded not guilty to serious charges before the court," Judge Rollo said.
The former national player, who was represented by lawyer Ron Mansfield, now faces one charge of possession of methamphetamine for supply and two charges of importing the drug.
The co-accused, 43, also faces a charge of possession of methamphetamine for supply and charges of its importation.
The maximum penalty, if guilty of possessing methamphetamine for supply, is life imprisonment.
Both men were well supported in court by family, who filled the seats in the small public gallery.
Acting Detective Inspector Shaun Vickers previously confirmed Counties Manukau police had arrested the men in Auckland late last week after a joint investigation with Customs into methamphetamine supply.
A third man, connected to the case, appeared later in the Manukau District Court and was also granted interim name suppression.
He is also accused of importing methamphetamine and was remanded without plea to reappear later this year.
A fourth man connected to the case will also appear in the Manukau District Court later this year.