As the Super Rugby season draws to a close our five clubs have been reminded of the need for acceptable standards of behaviour at their post-season celebrations.
A New Zealand Rugby Team Function Protocol was introduced last October. It followed the Chiefs stripper scandal which resulted from the side's ill-fated Mad Monday celebrations last July at a hotel.
"After last year's issues everyone agreed it would be a good idea to put some protocols in place," New Zealand Rugby Head of Professional Rugby Chris Lendrum said.
"The protocols are really just clarifying existing professional expectations that functions events should be safe, respectful and well-run events. We are happy where we have got to with them."
The Protocol spells out an expectation of "reasonable standards of behaviour at team functions".
It also lists out "conduct that is unacceptable for any employee or other person engaged in the professional rugby environment at team functions".
That includes illicit drug use or possession, improper use of medication, and excessive consumption of alcohol. It also includes: "Engaging any performer or live entertainment (whether male or female, and whether legal, consensual or otherwise), where such activity is inconsistent with the Respect and Inclusion Protocol."
New Zealand Rugby had launched a top-level investigation after a stripper paid to dance for the Chiefs side at its Mad Monday alleged she had been inappropriately treated. The inquiry found allegations made by the entertainer could not be substantiated.
Asked whether New Zealand Rugby had reminded the Super Rugby clubs of the need for them to adhere to the Team Function Protocol in their post-season celebrations, Lendrum said: "We are in constant dialogue with our clubs about a range of matters, and obviously as the season draws to a close this is a topic that is discussed.
"However the protocols form part of the players' contractual terms and operational protocols of the clubs, and should be well understood by all parties."
The Blues, whose series run ended with a loss to the Sunwolves last weekend, said their post-season celebrations would be held at a mix of private and public venues.
Team members and officials were expected to adhere to the behavior standards outlined in the Team Function Protocol.
"A full briefing has been provided to players and staff," a Blues spokesman said. "Event organisers have worked with team management on implementing the Protocol. Security staff in attendance will enforce the Protocol where required."
A spokeswoman for the Chiefs said: "We are fully focused on our Super Rugby Finals aspirations at the moment."
The Chiefs will play the Stormers in a quarterfinals match in Cape Town early on Sunday morning.
Neither the Crusaders nor the Highlanders, who will play in a knock-out match at Christchurch, had responded to inquiries about their post-season celebrations.
The Hurricanes, who beat the Brumbies on Friday to progress through to the semifinals, also had not responded.