Johannesburg - A New Zealand rugby player has come forward as the U20 player accused of rape in South Africa.

Hooker Nathan Harris, 20, said in a statement on Thursday that he had let down his team and his family.

He denied the rape charge, but said he had broken team rules by allowing a woman into his room.

“For that I am truly sorry and I want to apologise to my team mates, team management and to all the parents and friends who supported our team, but especially to my family for the distress this has caused them all,” he said.

Harris confirmed that no other team members were involved in the alleged rape, which took place after the New Zealand U20 team, dubbed the Baby Blacks, lost to their South African counterparts in Cape Town on Friday.

Police in Cape Town said they had taken DNA samples from two players after a 22-year-old woman claimed she was raped in a hotel after the match.

“I have learnt a lot and now I am hoping for a good outcome so I can get on with my life,” Harris said. - Sapa