Connacht Rugby have released a statement after their expected new signing Sevu Reece was granted a discharge without conviction in Hamilton District Court over a domestic violence incident involving his girlfriend.
Judge Denise Clark made the decision with reports in New Zealand suggesting the contract was in jeopardy if Reece was convicted.
A statement from the province confirmed they are aware of the incident.
Connacht Rugby and the IRFU are aware of media reports concerning Sevu Reece and his recent court appearance. We are currently seeking to clarify information around the situation prior to commenting further on the matter.
However, per the Irish Times, Connacht are expected to end their interest in the 21-year-old Fijian.
As reported by the Waikato Times, Reece was before the court after an altercation that occurred in the early hours on Sunday, July 1. Reece's partner was left with injuries to her face and bruising to her knee and waist. A nearby doorman intervened and he was arrested.
It was taken into account that Reece had taken responsibility, plead guilty and acknowledged he had a problem with alcohol. The court heard he was three months sober. He was ordered to pay $750 within 28 days.
Waikato Rugby Union have started a misconduct process but Reece was signed by Connacht in May, and was expected to join the province next month having featured in the Mitre 10 Cup. It was reported that a letter from Connacht Rugby's head of operations told the judge that a conviction would mean his contract would be withdrawn.