Howlett in 'drunk and disorderly' arrest after Munster team party
MUNSTER rugby hero Doug Howlett was arrested by gardai on suspicion of being drunk and disorderly at his Christmas party night out with his team-mates.
The former All Black was arrested outside Matt The Millers pub in Kilkenny city in the early hours of Tuesday morning.
The New Zealander had been on a night out with his Munster team-mates who were celebrating their annual Christmas party when gardai were called at around 1.40am.
Gardai confirmed a man was arrested for an alleged public order offence involving two other men on John Street.
Howlett was brought to Kilkenny garda station. However, he was released without charge some time later. It's understood he will not be charged but may be fined under the Fixed Charge Penalty System.
Munster Rugby was contacted for a comment last night but did not respond. They are due to issue a statement on the matter.
The players were seen in Langton's Hotel early on Monday night but later moved to Matt The Millers -- a bar popular for stag and hen parties.
The party had been planned weeks in advance and comedy rappers the Rubberbandits were booked to entertain the team.
Coincidentally, the Leinster rugby team had their Christmas party in Kilkenny on Tuesday night, however no incidents were reported.
It's the second time the New Zealand winger has been on the wrong side of the law -- as he was also arrested outside Heathrow Airport's Hilton Hotel in London in October 2007.
He had to be bailed out after an incident during which two parked cars were damaged.
On that occasion he issued a grovelling video apology on YouTube saying he was "embarrassed" about the "tomfoolery" which led to his arrest.
"I apologise to the people back home, family and friends, the New Zealand public, fans and my team-mates," he said at the time.
"I am working with the police at the moment to contact owners and fix what I have done wrong. It is an embarrassing time but I do take sole responsibility. There was drink involved and it is not an excuse."
He added that there had been "no intent to cause anybody or anything any harm whatsoever".
Howlett's Munster team-mates often make fun of the player about the incident -- asking 'Lads is anyone is watching the car park?' and saying things like "Move the BMWs".
The winger is set to suffer further embarrassment in the wake of his latest arrest.
Howlett is the all-time record try scorer for the All Blacks with 49 tries. He represented New Zealand in the 2003 and 2007 World Cups. His try against Scotland in the 2007 World Cup saw him take sole possession of his country's all-time try-scoring record from Christian Cullen.
But the tournament ended on a low note for Howlett. Three days after the All Blacks were beaten in the quarter-final by France in Cardiff, he was arrested after the Heathrow Airport incident.
Howlett had put the controversy behind him when he joined Munster in 2008. He impressed fans when less than five months after his arrival with a Heineken Cup win under his belt. He signed a new deal with Munster this year.