Mitchell, Wighton controversy not a 'distraction,' coach says

It’s the first day of camp in New Zealand for the Indigenous All Stars and already two of their top players are making headlines for the wrong reasons.

Latrell Mitchell and Jack Wighton were arrested on the weekend, while celebrating Wighton’s 30th birthday, after an apparent scuffle which lead to the pair being arrested.

Mitchell and Wighton released a statement, apologising for their actions and explaining they were enjoying their night and wrestling each other in a harmless manner.

Questions still remain though as to how serious the incident is, with onlookers claiming police overreacted.

Mitchell and Wighton arrived in Auckland today but remain tight-lipped on the incident. When asked by 1News about the altercation, Mitchell didn’t answer but did say he’s glad to be in New Zealand preparing for Saturday’s match.

“I love representing my heritage, that’s who I am, it’s my identity,” Mitchell said.

It's the first time the Indigenous All Stars have played in New Zealand, players saying the incident isn't overshadowing the occasion.

“Look I don't think it's going be a distraction, obviously we can't comment too much on what's gone on given it's under investigation and all that sort of stuff,” Indigenous player coach Cody Walker said.

The Indigenous All Stars play the Māori All Stars on Saturday in Rotorua.


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