All Black discard Luke McAlister has denied he plans to run out and leave North Harbour.
However, despite professing his "loyalty" to his provincial union, McAlister said it is his right to seek an early exit from his New Zealand Rugby Union contract if he doesn't make the World Cup squad.
There is obviously the not so small matter of the NZ,000 transfer fee the NZRU is demanding for the early release - which French champions Toulouse refuses to pay.
It was a tumultuous week in which he missed All Black selection, failed to arrive for training at North Harbour and was axed from the provincial side's opening match of the season.
McAlister told the Sunday Star Times he is still "loyal" to North Harbour and reiterated caring for his ill son, who has a heart condition, caused last Monday's training no-show - but said that was no excuse for the lack of communication.
"I've always been loyal to North Harbour," he told the Times.
"I haven't planned to run out and leave.
"I have every right to seek an early release. Every player has that option. I did that in good faith," McAlister vented, pointing to the examples of Neemia Tialata, Isaac Ross, Rodney So'oialo and Stephen Brett.
"I'm not embarrassed, just disappointed with how things have been handled and the distraction to the boys. I let them down. I apologised to the team this morning [Saturday]. I was honest with them. I stuffed up and hopefully everyone can accept that and move on."
McAlister asserted his battle with the NZRU was out of his control and denied a desire to take off and turn his back on Harbour, the All Blacks and the World Cup.
"I'm fully committed to being here. People were saying I'm not loyal and have no integrity, but I love putting the Harbour jersey on."
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