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All Blacks rugby star arrested

  • Story Highlights
  • All Blacks star Doug Howlett arrested by police at Heathrow Airport
  • Howlett allegedly caused criminal damage to two cars outside team hotel
  • Howlett was left out of the quarterfinal defeat to France in Cardiff
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LONDON, England -- All Blacks star Doug Howlett was arrested by police after two cars were damaged outside the team hotel at London's Heathrow Airport.


Howlett was arrested by police as most of his team-mates flew home from the World Cup.

The incident happened in the early hours of Tuesday morning as most of his World Cup team-mates were already on their way home to New Zealand.

Howlett, 29, was held on suspicion of causing criminal damage and bailed to reappear pending further police enquiries.

"It is a serious matter and we are concerned that something of this nature has occurred at what is already a disappointing time for the team and for our supporters," All Blacks manager Darren Shand said in a statement.

Howlett became the record try scorer for the All Blacks during the World Cup but then missed out on selection for the 20-18 quarterfinal defeat to hosts France in Cardiff.

Howlett is among several players to have remained in Europe following New Zealand's worst World Cup performance.

He is scheduled to join Irish province Munster on a two-and-a-half-year contract from January 1 and leaves the international arena with 49 tries from 62 Tests.

Meanwhile, the All Blacks were given a warm welcome as they returned home to Wellington after their shattering early exit from the competition.

Around 1,000 fans broke into chants of "All Blacks, All Blacks" as 17 of the 30-man squad arrived at Christchurch airport.

Departing coach Graham Henry appeared unaware of the arrest as he praised the behavior of his team and described them as role models for the country. E-mail to a friend E-mail to a friend

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