Australian rugby sevens captain James Stannard hit in alleged one-punch attack

Australian rugby sevens captain James Stannard hit in alleged one-punch attack

Australian rugby sevens captain James Stannard hit in alleged one-punch attack

James Stannard was allegedly struck by a British man in an unprovoked attack after a "nice conversation" with him outside a kebab shop in Coogee, in Sydney's east, just after 3am.

Stannard was the victim of a coward punch attack in Coogee yesterday after attending a farewell dinner party for Friend.

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

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.

There are doubts whether James Stannard will play in the upcoming Commonwealth Games as he remains in hospital.

"It didn't look good... but he is doing really well".

'When he fell to the ground he's done some damage to the side of his head, ' Insp Steve Egbers said.

The punch resulted in Stannard hitting his head on the footpath and the initial call to paramedics stated that Stannard was unconscious.

James Stannard is in hospital with a fractured skull after the incident outside Coogee kebab shop in Sydney
Image James Stannard may miss the Commonwealth Games

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.

That his prognosis is a positive one is a relief for his teammates, who Friend said had rallied around Stannard in the past two days.

"I've been a coach for 23 years [and] I've been to a lot of those events where you smell something is going wrong".

"That night was just a handsome gesture from the team, there was a lot of positive energy and to be honest it was a night that I didn't want to finish".

Stannard definitely will not play in next month's Commonwealth Games, but he will likely still travel with the team to the tournament, with Brandon Quinn elevated into the playing 12.

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.

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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