British and Irish Lions: Rob Howley 'disappointed' after tour manager accosted

John Spencer
John Spencer toured New Zealand as part of a Lions squad in 1971
New Zealand v British and Irish Lions, first Test
Venue: Eden Park, Auckland Date: Saturday, 24 June Kick-off: 08:35 BST
Coverage: Live text commentary on the BBC Sport website and app

British and Irish Lions assistant coach Rob Howley says it is "disappointing" after tour manager John Spencer said he was accosted in an Auckland restaurant.

It was reported that a fellow diner became aggressive towards the former England captain, who then pushed the man away and asked to be left alone. The Lions have not made any complaint.

Howley added that the incident on Thursday night was "isolated".

The Lions' three-Test series with New Zealand begins on Saturday.

Howley said that the one-off incident with Spencer will not affect the Lions' off-field plans.

"I've spoken to John, it's an isolated, disappointing incident," said Howley of Spencer's experience. "We've had a fantastic welcome, the New Zealand public have been fantastic."

"The New Zealand public have embraced us," added Howley. "It was only last night we went out to the Viaduct [a waterfront entertainment complex] as a squad and management and we had a lot of Kiwis coming up to us.

"Yes there's been banter but that's all part of it. But coming back to John, it's an isolated incident, and it's the minority, not the majority."

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