The New Zealand U20s player investigated for rape by South Africa police has come forward to clear his teammates.
Nathan Harris released a statement to New Zealand media today in which he claims innocence of the allegation made against him. He acknowledged he should not have broken team protocol by allowing a woman to enter his room during the Junior World Championship in South Africa which ended at the weekend where the Fiji U20s escaped relegation after seeing off Italy in the 11/12 playoffs.
"I am proud to have had this amazing opportunity to represent my country playing rugby and I know that I let the team down and I let my family down.
"For that I am truly sorry and I want to apologise to my team mates, team management and to all the parents and friends who supported our team, but especially to my family for the distress this has caused them all.
"The past five days have been a very stressful and painful time for me and my family. I have learnt a lot and now I am hoping for a good outcome so I can get on with my life.”
Harris declined to comment further as police investigation is still underway.
"I ask for the media's understanding at this time and to respect the privacy of my family.”