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Frizell banned for Bledisloe opener after assault charges

Highlanders flanker Shannon Frizell will miss the All Blacks' first Bledisloe Test after being suspended by New Zealand Rugby after his court appearance on assault charges.

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All Black Shannon Frizell delivered a prepared statement after being offered a diversion for the incident. Source: 1 NEWS

NZR held a misconduct hearing with Frizell where he was handed a two-match ban but will only miss one All Blacks Test having already missed a Highlanders game earlier this year when news of the altercation first surfaced in May.

The other match he'll miss will be the All Blacks' Test against the Wallabies at Eden Park on August 7.

1 NEWS understands the alleged assaults occurred in a popular Dunedin nightclub in May.

Frizell appeared in Dunedin District Court yesterday on three assault charges but didn’t enter a plea as he was instead offered diversion as a first time offender by judge Peter Rollo.

Shannon Frizell appears in Dunedin District Court. Source: 1 NEWS

Diversion allows first-time offenders to work with police to take responsibility for their offending outside the court system and avoid getting a criminal record.

Frizell will reappear in court in September but offered his apologies in a prepared statement yesterday.

“I would like to take this opportunity to say how very sorry I am for my behaviour during an incident in May this year," he said.

Shannon Frizell. Source: Photosport

"I would especially like to say sorry to the two people involved and the harm I have caused. I am very grateful for all the opportunities I have had and I don't take them for granted.

"I let myself and others down and I will now try and do everything I can to restore people's faith in me. I already have put a plan in place with councillors to help me address areas I want to work on.

"Once again, I would like to apologise to the people involved, my family, friends and the wider community.”