The details of Mark Telea’s curfew-busting indiscretions are not yet known. But in the modern era, the All Blacks have established a rich history of wandering away from the team hotel.
2005: The £300 cab fare
With an All Blacks end-of-year tour about to kick off in Wales, non-playing tourists Dan Carter, Piri Weepu, Jimmy Cowan, Aaron Mauger, Leon MacDonald and Jason Eaton did what many feckless young Kiwis do in Cardiff and settled in for a good, boozy night.
Still going strong at closing time, the group decided to ditch Cardiff and head to The Church, a London institution that opens its doors on Sundays and is popular with a certain class of amped-up Kiwis and Australians.
“Hitting The Church is a great way to cap off a successful tour, but a ridiculous way to begin one,” Carter later wrote in one of his autobiographies.
The want-a-drink players paid a cab driver £300 for the three-hour ride to the Church, where they realised they had arrived two hours before the doors were due to open. Standing in the cold, grey light of a North London morning, they finally made a smart decision and got themselves on a train back to Cardiff, where captain Tana Umaga had a few choice words for them about the wisdom of their decision-making.
2006: Handbags at dawn
A Hurricanes Super Rugby final defeat to the Crusaders is par for the course, but the events that followed the 2006 final went straight to the front page. In the early hours of the next morning, outgoing All Blacks captain Tana Umaga pulled teammate Chris Masoe into line after an incident at a Christchurch pub.
The midfielder tamed the loose forward by whacking him across the head with a woman’s handbag.
Another woman who witnessed the incident told the Herald the blow was hard enough to break a mobile phone that was inside the handbag. They said Masoe burst into tears after the blows from Umaga, and was ridiculed by onlookers.
“It looked more like ... an angry mother smacking a naughty child kind of thing,” she said. “It wasn’t to give harm but to get a message across. There was obviously a bit of force behind it, to break the cellphone.”
The Roxy bag (originally bought for $30) was later sold at auction on Trade Me for $22,750.
2007: The other winger’s quarter-final drama
You can say this much for Doug Howlett: at least he had the decency to wait until after the All Blacks had been knocked out in a quarter-final before going out on the rantan.
The Blues and All Blacks flyer was arrested at 3am outside a Hilton hotel in London for jumping on cars, in the aftermath of the defeat to France in Cardiff.
The winger, then 29, was suspected of causing criminal damage to two vehicles. It was also reported that Howlett and other teammates ran up a $33,000 tab at the hotel’s foyer bar.
Howlett later took responsibility for the drunken damage he caused, and called it “tomfoolery”.
2011: The case of the missing jandal
Quarter-final nerves seem to bring out the worst in the All Blacks. Less than 72 hours before he was due to run out on the field in the 2011 quarter-final, winger Cory Jane was spotted in a Takapuna pub in a state Sir Robert Muldoon’s press secretary once sympathetically described as “tired and emotional” – though others might call “pissed, wearing one jandal and lighting a durry”.
Also present at the Mac’s Brewbar in Takapuna was injured fullback Israel Dagg.
The Herald on Sunday wrote at the time: “Stunned bar patrons have told how the two backline stars appeared to be swaying and slurring their words.”