Australian rugby sevens captain James Stannard fractures skull after 'punch by Briton'

Sevens captain James 'Chucky' Stannard hospitalised after punch

Sevens captain James 'Chucky' Stannard hospitalised after punch

Australia's sevens rugby captain James Stannard, who was to play in the Commonwealth Games, is in hospital with a fractured skull after being punched in an "alleged unprovoked assault", police and Rugby Australia said Friday.

Stannard was taken to a nearby hospital, where he remains in a stable condition with head injuries.

The 22-year-old British national accused of assaulting the man fled the scene, but was apprehended by witnesses until police arrived to arrest him.

As the days have ticked on, it appears Stannard has been immensely fortunate, with the halfback likely to be released from St Vincent's Hospital on Sunday, Friend said.

It said Stannard was struck by a man in an unprovoked attack after reportedly having a conversation with him outside the fast food outlet.

"Every indication is that there will be no long-term damage to James, he'll be fine", he said.

The blow brought back awful memories for Friend who was the Brumbies coach in 2009 when Shawn Mackay died from head injuries sustained in a road accident in South Africa.

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

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Stannard had earlier that night attended a dinner for departing coach Andy Friend.

Stannard led Australia to a 36-12 Games warm-up win against New Zealand in Sydney on Thursday.

Stannard has been ruled out of the Commonwealth Games after fracturing his skull.

The Stannard-led sevens squad is now in preparations for next month's Commonwealth Games and they have already played two trial matches against New Zealand.

Friend was told earlier this month that his contract with the team would not be renewed in July, but RA said they hoped he would remain with the wider organisation.

"Yep I get it, people will assume because you're out at 3 o'clock in the morning that you're doing something wrong", he said.

"But I do know, as a group, we will rally and we will be out there aiming to get that gold medal".

He has been charged with assault occasioning actual bodily harm and has been granted conditional bail.

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