Belfast Telegraph

Banned: Ulster rugby star accused of urinating in back of Italian cab

By John Mulgrew

An Ulster Rugby player has been disciplined following an incident in Italy which took place after the side’s victory at the weekend.

Andi Kyriacou, hooker for the Ulster side since 2009, was said to have been involved in the incident shortly after their win against Treviso on Saturday.

Details of the incident only emerged after a report in an Italian newspaper.

According to the Italian media, a taxi driver transporting the 29-year-old to his hotel alleged he had caused damage to his car after being asked to exit, after allegedly spitting and urinating.

It’s believed he had spent the night in an area called Fonderia, which has many bars and clubs.

Reports claimed Mr Kyriacou was visibly drunk and had ordered a taxi to drive him to his hotel. According to the driver, he ignored requests to stop spitting in the car before he began to urinate.

He then allegedly damaged the vehicle — kicking the door and side of the car.

On Monday the driver brought his taxi to be cleaned and repaired, and it’s understood the taxi firm in question has now sent a request to Ulster Rugby for damages to be paid for an unknown amount.

The manager of the cab firm described the incident as “simply unacceptable”. Liverpool-born Kyriacou began his career with Ulster after moving from English side Saracens on a two-year contract.

The Irish-qualified hooker, who began his career with Sale and Leeds, had spent five seasons at the club and enjoyed an impressive loan spell with Munster during the 2006/07 season.

A spokeswoman for Ulster Rugby last night said that an incident regarding the 29-year-old player had taken place following the game in Italy.

“We are aware that following Ulster’s away Pro12 match against Treviso last Saturday that Andi Kyriacou was involved in an off-field incident,” she said.

“The issue has now been dealt with through our internal disciplinary process.”

The player has been suspended by Ulster for one match and will now miss Friday night’s Pro12 League match with another Italian side, Aironi, at Ravenhill.

Profile

Andi Kyriacou joined the Ulster Rugby side back in 2009 — after a long spell with English side Saracens. The 29-year-old Liverpool-born hooker started his playing career at Ormskirk RUFC. On the international stage he has previously represented England at under-21 level. In summer 2009 he signed a two-year contract with Ulster and has enjoyed success with the side since.

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