Quins' backing for trio
The three Harlequins players involved in the RFU's investigation into allegations of misconduct have received the support of the club.
Last Updated: 15/07/08 1:27pm
The three Harlequins players involved in the RFU's investigation into allegations of misconduct have received the support of the Stoop club.
Danny Care and Dave Strettle were both cleared of any wrongdoing by disciplinary chief Jeff Blackett following his investigation into the events after the first Test against New Zealand in Auckland on June 14.
However full-back Mike Brown was reprimanded and fined £1,000 after he was found guilty of staying out all night and arriving late for a physiotherapist appointment.
Care and Brown - along with London Irish wing Topsy Ojo - were at the centre of a police investigation following allegations of a sex assault at the Hilton Hotel in Auckland.
However, Blackett has found no evidence to support the allegation, while no formal complaint has been made to Auckland police.
And Quins have reiterated their support for their players - while accepting the punishment handed out to Brown.
"We would like to make clear our continued support for the three players from the club identified in the report," read a statement from the club.
"The serious criminal allegations that were widely reported in parts of the New Zealand and British media have been shown to have no evidential basis.
"The rumours and innuendo surrounding other events have been clearly shown to be grossly misleading, inaccurate and exaggerated.
"It has been a difficult time for all three players as they have had to withstand a great deal of ill-informed and potentially damaging speculation about their behaviour, while choosing to remain silent pending the outcome of the enquiry.
"All three players have had exemplary disciplinary records in their rugby careers to date.
"It was particularly pleasing to see that Danny Care and David Strettle were entirely cleared of any misconduct.
"In the case of Mike Brown, he is fully aware that he should have returned to the team hotel at an earlier hour.
"Although a relatively minor misdemeanour, he fully accepts the sanction imposed and will now concentrate on regaining his place in the England team."