Partying Highlanders players and associates wreaked havoc during a wild night in Queenstown - causing damage to an apartment complex they were staying in, leaving guests feeling intimidated and one man in police custody.
The group - including at least four Highlanders - travelled to the tourist destination during the side's bye this weekend in Super Rugby Aotearoa.
Yesterday morning one member - who is not part of the Highlanders' player roster - was arrested and charged with wilful damage and disorderly behaviour.
Some of the antics of the players and friends was caught on camera.
Rugby bosses last night did not provide comment on the night out.
But the conduct of Highlanders' players was been slammed by a guest; saying their actions - including at least two players who urinated in a public courtyard at The Glebe apartments shortly before 4am - left guests feeling intimidated.
"They were yelling and screaming all night," he claimed. "They trashed the place. Holes had been punched in the walls."
Guests were left fuming by the group' actions, with some feeling intimidated by their behaviour, he said.
"It was absolutely f****** appalling," he said. "There were people there staying with their families.
"These guys are meant to be role models to kids and world rugby. I have never seen anything like this. There is nothing wrong with having a good time . . . but this was next level."
Highlanders players were given the chance to put their feet up this weekend as they enjoyed a bye from competition after a thrilling 33-31 win over the Chiefs in Hamilton last Sunday.
But what started out as an afternoon soaking up the sights of the tourist wonderland, including visiting local vineyards, later spiralled out of control for some.
The Glebe manager Anne Henley confirmed there had been an incident at the premises overnight Saturday involving guests but did not wish to comment further and referred the Herald on Sunday to police.
A police spokesperson confirmed called to a breach of the peace at a Queenstown apartment building about 4am on Saturday.
A 24-year-old man was arrested and is due to appear in Queenstown District Court on Monday, charged with wilful damage and disorderly behavior.
"We have no further details with regard to occupation," the spokesperson said.
The Herald on Sunday was told by a source that the man lashed out at a police car sent to investigate the incident, kicking it several times before he was arrested.
The guest who talked about the wild night had said members of the group had already been "rowdy" on Friday afternoon before going into central Queenstown for a night out.
When they returned, guests at the complex were kept awake by their out of control antics, the man said.
Police were called to the complex several times during the late night and early morning bender, he claimed.
"The police were back again at about 9am when the players were booted out. The police were there several times during the night."
Parts of the complex were "littered with beer bottles".
The Herald on Sunday also learned yesterday that a lift had been damaged after a fight broke out in it featuring two men, including the 24-year-old later arrested.
He was left bloodied after the lengthy fight, and later put his fist through a wall in a fifth floor hallway.
Other guests confronted the group about their behaviour as they partied in the apartments they had booked, including around the time two players were caught urinating in a public courtyard.
Highlanders high performance manager Greg O'Brien said he wasn't aware of any incident involving the team's players when first contacted yesterday afternoon.
"But I'll endeavour to find out for you," he said.
However, O'Brien did not respond to further approaches for comment. Highlanders chief executive Roger Clark also did not respond.
Highlanders board member John Faulks said last night he knew nothing of the incident and referred any comment to chairman Doug Harvie or Clark. Harvie could not be reached.
A New Zealand Rugby spokesman also referred all comment to the Highlanders.
In early 2018, NZR launched a complaints service so members of the public could raise complaints about allegations of inappropriate off-field conduct.
The service included an 0800 phone line.
Then head of the national sporting body, Steve Tew, said at the time it was part of the organisation's commitment to create a respectful and inclusive rugby environment in New Zealand.
Sport NZ Chief Executive Peter Miskimmin said at the time it was a good move.
"Rugby is part of every community in New Zealand and it's great to see NZR showing leadership and commitment to creating a respectful and inclusive rugby environment."
Establishing the service was one of the recommendations from the 2017 Respect and Responsibility Review.