SRU deny banning Kiwi reporter from press call

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THE Scottish Rugby Union today rejected a claim that a New Zealand journalist from the newspaper which derided the oval ball game in this country through a colleague’s column had received a banning order.

Under the headline “All Blacks: Herald reporter blocked from press conference”, today’s issue of the New Zealand Herald said “video journalist George Berry was denied access to the Scottish team naming.”

It went on to quote Berry as saying: “I was asked who I was doing the video for by the Scotland media guy and I responded, ‘The Herald’. “I was then told: ‘If that’s the case I’m afraid our team is not interested in talking to The Herald.’”

The incident centres on remarks made last weekend in which Scotland’s team were referred to as “cavemen” and unworthy of a fixture against the world champions.

Today an SRU spokesman confirmed a conversation had taken place with the kiwi reporter and referred to the columnist’s subject matter but denied any ban.

“I had a conversation with an individual from the New 
Zealand Herald and told him that the piece was really disrespectful but he got his interview,” he said.

The New Zealand Herald today acknowledged that an interview had taken place: “He (Berry) was eventually granted access to do a very quick interview at the end of everyone else.

“However it came with a warning and a message to the Herald editor-in-chief Tim Murphy.

“They said to tell him that sort of narrow journalism isn’t appreciated in Scotland, and it’s a shame that he (the columnist) hasn’t got his *** out from behind the desk and followed up his comments by being in