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Exclusive: All Black sidesteps charge after 'extremely excessive' speed

Dalton Papalii has had a stellar run as Blues captain this season. Photo /

Dalton Papalii has had a stellar run as Blues captain this season. Photo /

All Black Dalton Papalii has sidestepped a court charge after police accused him of driving at "extremely excessive" speeds on an Auckland motorway.

Papalii, 24, was set to be charged by police for driving in excess of the 100km/h posted limit on the Southern Motorway at Takanini in the early hours of Wednesday last week, a court document viewed by the Herald shows.

Police say they were unable to proceed with the charge due to a "technicality," understood to be an issue with the speed detection equipment.

The charge they were to lay was a category 1 traffic offence, meaning police would have alleged he was driving more than 50km/h above the posted limit.

It carries a maximum penalty of a $1000 fine if convicted. There were no other charges.

The Blues captain was due to appear in the Manukau District Court in the days after he was pulled over.

Because Papalii required surgery for appendicitis, his lawyer had his first appearance deferred to July 22 at the Papakura District Court.

This week, police contacted the loose forward's representatives to tell them the charge was being withdrawn.

The Manukau District Court said yesterday afternoon the charge was no longer active.

A police spokesman described the speed the car was travelling at as "extremely excessive".

"Police can confirm a vehicle was stopped on the Southern Motorway in the early hours of 1 June after it was allegedly travelling at an extremely excessive speed.

"The driver was spoken to on the roadside and was remorseful for the situation."

He was summonsed to appear in court on a speeding charge, the spokesman said.

"Regrettably, police has had to withdraw the matter from the court due to a technicality."

It is understood the unspecified technicality related to an issue with speed detection equipment, which meant the reading may have been ruled inadmissible in court.

A representative for Papalii confirmed he was now facing misconduct proceedings from NZ Rugby's integrity unit.

It is understood Papalii has recently addressed his Blues teammates and senior leadership group regarding the incident.

He is said to have been contrite and embarrassed and expressed regret at the distraction from the team's preparation ahead of tomorrow's Super Rugby Pacific semi-final against the Brumbies.

Papalii was named this year as the Blues captain for the 2022 season.

He has had a dream run as skipper, leading his team to 13 unbeaten matches.

The flanker has made 12 appearances for the All Blacks since 2018.

Papalii has a well-known love of cars.

A magazine profile from last year said Papalii has a 1971 Jaguar XJ6 with a 350 (5.7 L) Chevrolet V8 engine.

But he usually drives a Toyota Hilux ute to training from his home in Papakura, the profile said.

Another profile said his alternative career choices would be a mechanic or an arborist.

He missed his franchise's quarter-final victory over the Highlanders last Saturday due to the appendicitis surgery.

In his early years he played rugby league, following in the footsteps of his family, but made the switch to union, which he played for St Kentigern's College in Pakuranga.

He debuted for the All Blacks a few weeks after turning 21 and has scored 20 points from four tries in the black jersey.

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