Howley disappointed by Spencer incident on Lions tour

Updated: 

British and Irish Lions assistant coach Rob Howley was disappointed by an incident involving tour manager John Spencer, but insisted it was an isolated event.

Spencer, 69, told British media he was confronted and pushed by a man while at a restaurant in Auckland on Thursday.

While Howley was saddened by the incident as the Lions prepare for the first Test against the All Blacks at Eden Park, the attack coach said the tourists had received a mostly warm welcome in New Zealand.

"I spoke to John. It's an isolated incident, it's a disappointing incident," Howley told a news conference on Friday.

"Since we've been here in New Zealand, we've had a fantastic welcome. The New Zealand public have been unbelievable in their hospitality, in their welcome, wherever we've been.

"Unfortunately in sport there's always a minority and it's not the majority.

"The experiences we've had have been quite unbelievable. The New Zealand public have embraced us, I think they appreciate the rugby that we play.

"It was only last night we went out to the Viaduct as a squad and management, there were a lot of Kiwis coming to us.

"There's been banter between New Zealand supporters and our supporters and us as well, and that's par for the course, but coming back to John, it's an isolated incident and it's the minority, not the majority."