Tearful Smith apologises for 'huge mistake'


A tearful Aaron Smith has offered an emotional apology after conceding to having made a "huge error in judgement" when entering an airport toilet cubicle with a female.

The New Zealand scrum-half was suspended for what coach Steve Hansen called "breaching team standards", ruling him out of the final Rugby Championship game against South Africa on Saturday.

Smith, speaking in Durban ahead of his return home, said: "I've made a huge mistake, a huge error in judgement.

"I'd firstly like to say a huge sorry to my partner Teagan, her family, my family.

"I'm also sorry to my team-mates, New Zealand Rugby Union and the New Zealand fans.

"My behaviour was unacceptable and if you could respect me and my partner in this situation. I'm just trying to get home to deal with this. Thank you."

Hansen confirmed on Wednesday that the 27-year-old's punishment had been decided by senior All Blacks players.