Wales police charge Barbarians prop Api Ratuniyarawa with serial sexual assaults

Api Ratuniyarawa faces complaints from three alleged victims.

Api Ratuniyarawa faces complaints from three alleged victims. Photo: AAP

Barbarian Api Ratuniyarawa has appeared in court to face charges of sexually assaulting three women at a Cardiff bar hours before the Eddie Jones-coached invitation squad were defeated by Wales.

The charges cast a cloud over the match, which was staged to celebrate 50 years of Barbarians rugby since they defeated New Zealand in the celebrated 1973 fixture at Cardiff Arms Park.

The scandal also chilled Eddie Jones’ return to coaching after quitting the Wallabies. The usual post-match press conference featuring the  Jones and captain Alun Wyn Jones was not held.

Earlier, a spokesman for the team said: “As soon as we were contacted by South Wales Police we cooperated fully, assisting them with their enquiries.

‘Stringent bail’

“On their advice we can’t comment any further as the investigation is ongoing.”

The 37-year-old lock, who was called up as a late replacement in the Fijian World Cup squad, appeared at magistrates court, accused of sexually assaulting three women at a Cardiff city centre club between October 31 and November 1.

Ratuniyarawa, who had been due to start on the replacements bench in the non-cap international before being withdrawn from the 23, has denied the charges and was subject to “stringent bail” before the case reaches Cardiff Crown Court on December 4.

Night on the town

The three alleged incidents were said to have occurred at the Revolution bar in Cardiff city centre in the early hours of the morning while the former London Irish player Ratuniyarawa was on a night out with the Barbarians’ players.

Prosecuting, Michael Evans, told the court Ratuniyarawa was accused of penetrating two of the women with his finger and touching the breast and body of a third woman.

Ratuniyarawa, who also played in the 2015 and 2019 World Cups, has had a distinguished career in England with Irish and Northampton and in France with Agen.

Jones, who quit as Australia’s coach on Monday, then flew to Wales to oversee a Barbarians squad, featuring 10 of his former Wallabies, including eight who played during their World Cup debacle.


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