Rugby League World Cup: Australia full-back will face no further action after late-night scuffle in Manchester

The two-time Golden Boot winner was detained by police after the incident which happened following Australia's victory over Ireland

Click to follow
The Independent Online

Australia full-back Billy Slater has been released by police in Manchester after being detained following a nightclub incident in Manchester, the Kangaroos management have confirmed.

The Melbourne and Queensland representative player, who is twice a winner of the prestigious Golden Boot and was one of the faces of the Rugby League World Cup, had been out celebrating his team's third win of the tournament when he became involved in a scuffle in the early hours of Monday morning and Greater Manchester Police were called.

A statement said: "Australian Rugby League team management can confirm player Billy Slater was detained by police this morning and has been released without charge."

The Australian management are satisfied that Slater was the victim of the incident, which comes as the team prepare to begin their preparations for Saturday's quarter-final against USA in Wrexham.

The statement added: "After reviewing CCTV footage of a scuffle outside a Manchester nightclub, police have determined that Slater was the victim who then acted in self-defence and has informed him of his right to press charges.

"Billy was returning to the venue to collect his jacket that he left behind when he was attacked. Both men were detained for several hours while police reviewed footage of the incident.

"The Australian team players were free of official duties after returning from Ireland."

A spokesman for the Australian team said it was "unlikely" that Slater will press charges.

It is the second late-night incident to affect the tourists since they arrived in England four weeks ago.

Forward Josh Papalii was threatened and robbed of £200 after the squad's first night out in Manchester.

Greater Manchester Police said the incident involving Slater, 30, took place outside Mojos in Bridge Street, Manchester, following a "verbal altercation" at about 2.40am.

A 40-year-old man from Manchester continues to be questioned on suspicion of affray.

A spokesman for Greater Manchester Police said: "One of the men threw a punch at the other, so the victim retaliated and punched him back in self-defence.

"The police were called and both men, a 30-year-old old man from Australia and a 40-year-old man from Manchester, were arrested on suspicion of affray.

"Officers have now viewed CCTV of the incident and the 30-year-old man has been released with no further charge.

"The 40-year-old remains in police custody for questioning.

"Anyone with information is asked to call police on 101."