Mitre 10 Cup: Sevu Reece drops out of Duane Monkley Medal contention

Waikato winger Sevu Reece.
Waikato winger Sevu Reece. Photo credit: Getty Images

Waikato rugby star Sevu Reece has asked to be taken out of consideration for the Duane Monkley medal awarded to the Mitre 10 Cup player of the year, following a misconduct hearing.

The 21-year-old was discharged without conviction for a domestic assault earlier this year, and as part of a sanction, was stood down for the Ranfurly Shield defence against Otago on Saturday.

Reece was in contention for the award after a dominant season for the Mooloo, but decided it was in the best interests to remove his name from the contenders following a hearing conducted by New Zealand Rugby (NZR) and Waikato Rugby.

"Sevu has accepted responsibility for the situation, is remorseful and is undertaking a suite of counselling and help programmes," NZR Head of Professional Rugby Chris Lendrum said.

"He was suspended for one match, a sanction he served when he was not part of Waikato’s Ranfurly Shield match against Otago on Saturday.

"We continue to encourage Sevu as he seeks to make improvements in his life. Sevu has also asked to be taken out of consideration for the Duane Monkley Medal, awarded to the best Mitre 10 Cup player of the year.

"Any future employment with rugby in New Zealand would be dependent on him completing the help programmes."

Reece was due to head over to Irish club Connacht at the conclusion of the season, but the Galway-based side decided to cancel his contract after Connacht and the Irish Rugby Football Union (IRFU) had investigated the court appearance.

"Connacht Rugby and the IRFU have taken the decision, following contact with Sevu Reece in relation to the circumstances of a recent court appearance, not to proceed with a contract to play with the province.

"Connacht Rugby and the IRFU will make no further comment."

After missing the Ranfurly Shield match, Reece will be eligible to play for Waikato in their Championship semi-final against Northland this Saturday.