Smith under investigation over Japan arrest

Super Rugby
by Sam Phillips

Just when it seemed the Reds' preseason couldn't get more bizarre, there are reports out of Japan that George Smith was arrested after a drunken incident on New Year's Eve.

According to Japanese news outlet the Yomiuri Shimbun, Smith was arrested shortly after midnight on December 31 after refusing to pay a cab fare, fleeing and then punching the taxi driver.

Smith was reportedly chased multiple times by the driver before his arrest and while the 37-year-old has denied the allegations, his club, Suntory Sungoliath, have confirmed the reports.

"It is true that George Smith, under contract to our rugby team, has been arrested," Suntory said in a statement.
Smith was arrested in Tokyo on NYE. Photo: Getty Images"We issue a heartfelt apology to the victim, as well as other related people, as well as to the many people who have worried and been caused problems by this."

It is the latest twist in an already bizarre preseason for the Reds.

Fans have already dealt with another Karmichael Hunt saga and are also coming to terms with news both Quade Cooper and Nick Frisby will not be part of the squad in 2018.

A Rugby Australia spokesman said the governing body was investigating reports of the incident.

"Rugby Australia are investigating reports of an incident involving George Smith in Japan," the spokesman said.

"We have no further comment at this time."