GARDAI investigating an alleged assault on a hospital porter are preparing a file for the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) on a senior Munster rugby player.
Aidan Lanigan (34) had his thumb broken during a public order incident in Kilkenny on December 20 last.
The Munster squad was in the city for their Christmas party when a row erupted in the early hours of the morning on John Street.
Doug Howlett was arrested by gardai on suspicion of being drunk and disorderly at the scene. Mr Howlett was not charged or fined in relation to the incident but was given a caution.
The file now being prepared by gardai in Kilkenny is not in relation to Mr Howlett. It does, however, involve a second Munster player.
Mr Lanigan -- who suffered a broken thumb on the night in question -- has made a statement to gardai about the matter. He claimed a second player was involved in the alleged assault.
Gardai said the matter was being taken very seriously. Statements were taken and a file should be ready for the DPP within weeks. The DPP will decide if any charges are to be brought against the player.
Munster Rugby was contacted for a comment last night but did not respond.
The Munster rugby team usually holds its Christmas party in Kilkenny, where former rugby international and Munster player Mick Galwey is based.
On December 20, the players stayed in the popular Kilkenny hotel Langton's and were seen socialising throughout the evening. Later that night, an incident broke out on the street and gardai were called. Mr Howlett was arrested before being released without charge.
A witness said Mr Lanigan's glasses were "knocked off" during the row. However, the source said the players were "mostly well behaved" but a few "had too many drinks on board".
Munster Rugby took disciplinary action against a number of squad members over their behaviour.