Hurricanes captain Ardie Savea says he has apologised after threatening a Melbourne Rebels player with a “throat-slitting” gesture during Friday night’s Super Rugby Pacific match.

The incident occurred after the All Blacks backrower was given a yellow card for his involvement in an all-in brawl just before half-time in the Hurricanes’ 39-33 win in Melbourne.

As he walked off, Savea — who had earlier scored two tries for the Hurricanes — gestured to Melbourne halfback Ryan Louwrens in a threatening manner.

It is unclear if Savea will face further penalty from Super Rugby Pacific’s governing SANZAAR.

Loading Twitter content

Savea said he apologised to Louwrens after the match.

“It’s just the heat of the moment, it’s a warrior game but I’ve got to lead by example, being skip [captain], so I got that wrong,” Savea told journalists.

“There was a bit of banter going on and it got the better of me.

“I got off the field and my old man called me and kind of growled me off so that’s a lesson learnt.

“I understand the role I play with the kids watching the games … it doesn’t excuse what I did but we make mistakes and hopefully I grow and learn from it.”

The Hurricanes-Rebels match was part of Super Round, which is being hosted in Melbourne.