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Samoan rugby star is accused of 
nightclub assault

AN INTERNATIONAL rugby player has appeared before a Dublin court accused of attacking a man outside a nightclub in the city over three years ago.

Samoan international Alesana Tuilagi (33) is alleged to have seriously assaulted a man on Dublin's Harcourt Street in April 2011.

A detective alleged that the attack was captured on CCTV cameras.

Judge John O'Neill remanded Mr Tuilagi on cash bail to appear before the court again in October.

The accused is originally from Samoa and plays rugby for the Newcastle Falcons in the Aviva Premiership in England.

Charge

He appeared before Dublin District Court yesterday evening charged with seriously assaulting a man outside a nightclub.

The assault, contrary to the non fatal offences against the person act, allegedly took place on Harcourt Street on April 10, 2011.

Det Insp Tony Howard told the court that he met Mr Tuilagi by appointment at Oscar Traynor Road in Coolock around 1.30pm yesterday afternoon.

The inspector said that Mr Tuilagi was arrested on foot of a warrant issued by a judge at Dublin District Court in September 2011 and he was taken to Coolock Garda Station.

Insp Howard said Mr Tuilagi was subsequently charged at 3.25pm. He said the charge was read over to Mr Tuilagi.

He was then handed a true copy of the charge sheet and he had nothing to say to the charge after caution.

The court heard that Mr Tuilagi is currently living in the UK, but Insp Howard said he had no objection to cash bail as the accused man met him by appointment and he had provided gardai with an address in England.

The court heard the DPP previously directed summary disposal of the matter in the District Court where the potential penalties upon conviction are less severe.

Insp Howard said he now wished to speak to the DPP's office to re-confirm these directions, which were given a number of years ago.

Insp Howard also told the court that the alleged assault was captured on CCTV.

Insp Howard said he has taken statements from the alleged injured party and from witnesses.

Mr Tuilagi's lawyer asked for the disclosure of any statements in relation to the allegation.

The judge ordered that statements as well as CCTV footage of the alleged assault be furnished to Mr Tuilagi's legal team.

Injuries

Judge O'Neill also asked that a medical report of the alleged victim's injuries be available in court on the next occasion so that jurisdiction may be considered.

Mr Tuilagi, who was wearing red shorts, a bright blue hoodie and black flip flops, did not address the court during the short hearing.

Mr Tuilagi has not yet indicated how he is pleading to the charge.

The accused is one of five Tuilagi brothers, all of whom have played rugby.

His brother Manu plays for Aviva Premiership side Leicester Tigers and for England.

hnews@herald.ie


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