After an incident in January involving a security guard, Star Reds recruit Suliasi Vunivalu stood down.
After being fined and stood down by the Reds after an incident in January, Storm premiership winger Suliasi Vunivalu is embarrassed.
After reportedly pushing a security officer, Star Queensland Reds recruit Suliasi Vunivalu was sensationally stood down from Friday's season opening Super Rugby AU match and fined $10,000.
The incident happened on January 30 at a licensed Brisbane venue, but it was only made clear to the Reds last week.
The former premiership-winning Melbourne Storm NRL winger was charged with common assault and will appear in court on April 19.
Once the matter is dealt with by the judiciary, he could also face further penalties from both the Reds and the Australian Rugby Union.
The club said the 25-year-old Fijian had discredited "the club and the game."
He was "embarrassed to be in this position," Vunivalu said.
I apologize," he said on Tuesday, "to the QRU and my teammates for that.
I apologize, particularly in Queensland, to the fans and the rugby community.
"I understand the stance taken by the QRU. I look forward to resolving the matter.'
On Friday night at Suncorp Stadium, Vunivalu will miss the Reds' season-opening Super Rugby AU clash against NSW Waratahs, but will be available for selection against the Rebels the following week.
The Reds announced that they would give therapy and assistance to Vunivalu.
"Rugby Australia and Queensland rugby take their position very seriously within the community and we need to uphold the highest standards," David Hanham, CEO of QRU, said.
"To the software, Suli is fresh. He knows he's been letting down the fans, his teammates, and rugby in this province.
Hanham said he was surprised that, until last week, he had not heard about the matter.
"The sooner we are aware of these things, the better," he said.
"Once the matter is fully heard, then we will reassess (the penalties)."
ARU Coaching Director Scott Johnson said that the selection hopes of Vunivalu's Wallabies will not be affected by what he described as a "minor incident."
Vunivalu made the move to rugby with Melbourne Storm after last year's NRL premiership victory and also trained with the Wallabies in December.
The Fijian international played 111 Storm games, including the 2017 and last year's grand final wins, and his signing was hailed as a major coup for the 15-man code.