Australian rugby sevens captain suffers fractured skull after punch

James Stannard is recovering in hospital after suffering head injuries outside a Coogee kebab shop on Thursday night. Source Getty
James Stannard is recovering in hospital after suffering head injuries outside a Coogee kebab shop on Thursday night. Source Getty

02 April, 2018

Friend and two of Stannard's teammates - Lewis Holland and Ben O'Donnell - pursed the offender and detained him until police arrived, a series of events that Friend said still felt like a blur.

A 22-year-old British man has been charged over the alleged "one-punch" assault by South Wales Police, the organisation said.

"When he (Stannard) fell to the ground he's done some damage to the side of his head", Insp Egbers told reporters in Maroubra on Friday.

"The victim was taken to St Vincent's Hospital where he is understood to be in a stable condition with head injuries".

However, he said Stannard was likely to wait until Sunday to return home.

In an emotional press conference, Friend revealed the 35-year-old had been cleared by his neurosurgeon and an ear, nose and throat specialist.

Andy Friend said he did not see Stannard get hit but was witness the "surreal" aftermath.

He only recently replaced injured captain Lewis Holland. They said come back when you need to'.

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Australian Rugby Sevens head coach Andy Friend said it felt like the world stopped when he saw team captain James Stannard attacked in Sydney's eastern suburbs yesterday.

This isn't the first time Friend has dealt with a team facing emotional trauma - he was Brumbies coach when Shawn Mackay was killed in a auto accident, while his wife Kerri suffered a serious brain injury after a bike accident in 2010.

RA said Stannard and a group of players and team management had been at a fast-food outlet following the dinner for Friend when the alleged attack occurred.

The 22-year-old from Newcastle, England, was held on Coogee Bay Road until police arrived.

James Stannard has been ruled out of the games after he was rushed to hospital following the incident outside a Sydney kebab shop in the early hours of Friday morning.

"What staggers me is we can get to the stage where we feel we can act with such violence to an individual".

Oliver, who is reportedly from Newcastle and had been backpacking in Australia, has been ordered to appear in court charged with assault occasioning actual bodily harm on April 19.

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