Super Rugby 2019: Crusaders stars Richie Mo'unga, George Bridge cleared over South Africa incidents

Crusaders players involved in separate incidents in South Africa in May have been cleared of any wrongdoing by a New Zealand Rugby investigation.

Star first-five Richie Mo'unga was accused of spitting beer at a woman and inappropriately touching her at a bar, while George Bridge was said to have directed homophobic slurs at a patron of a Cape Town McDonald's.

NZR head of rugby Nigel Cass said independent complaints service manager Steph Dyhrberg had helped conduct a "thorough and comprehensive investigation" into each incident, and had concluded that both accusations lacked sufficient evidence to proceed further.

"NZR's investigation has found that the allegations against George Bridge were not upheld," said Cass. "With regard to Richie Mo'unga, the NZR investigation found that the allegations also could not be substantiated.

"Given the seriousness of these allegations and the potential consequences, we needed to be confident that what was alleged actually took place and we weren't."

Mo'unga apologised to his accuser, after she tracked him down on social media and called him out for his behaviour.

He admitted he'd been drinking on the night and that he'd regretted his actions, and NZR is satisfied he's learned his lesson.

"We feel that he has learned some valuable lessons and we are satisfied that he will not put himself in the same position again in future," said Cass. "We have made our expectations around behaviour clear to him.

"He has been reminded of his obligation to be a role model for the sport at all times, especially when approached by members of the public - even in a social setting."

Accusations against Bridge surfaced from a Twitter user, who posted of an encounter with members of the Crusaders team who he claimed "jeered and sniggered" with homophobic taunts towards himself and his friends.

NZR has subsequently asked the Crusaders to review their post-match protocol and CEO Colin Mansbridge insists that process is already underway.

"We will learn from this experience and use it as an opportunity for improvement," stated Mansbridge. "For us, this is not just about two members of our team - we all need to take some responsibility for this and learn from it.

"That is why we are reviewing our policies around alcohol and social media use to ascertain if our existing policies are robust enough, and make changes if needed."