Speculation is mounting this morning that Connacht will withdraw a contract offer to a player who appeared in court in relation to a domestic violence charge.
Sevu Reece was due to join the province next month after agreeing a two-year deal.
The 21-year-old Fijian was granted a discharge without conviction over a domestic violence incident that left his partner bloodied and bruised.
In explaining her decision Judge Denise Clark said that the conviction would have ended the player’s prospects of playing with Connacht.
The court heard Reece had shouted at his partner in the early hours of July 1st, chased her down the street and dragged her to the ground. She suffered bruising to the side of her face and waist and bleeding to her knee.
But the judge accepted that the victim had forgiven Reece, that the couple were undergoing counselling, Reece had admitted a problem with alcohol and had been sober for three months.
It was introduced by his lawyer, Mark Jepson: "He would be going to a very strict club.
"It’s very professional in Ireland, and the type of behaviour and culture that he’s been involved with here in New Zealand probably won’t be the same there."
Connacht and the IRFU issued a brief statement yesterday saying that they are investigating Reece’s court appearance.
"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."
It is believed that the offer of the two-year deal will now be withdrawn.