Alleged assault puts sevens skipper in hospital

James Stannard was made captain of Australia's Commonwealth Games side earlier this month

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

Australian rugby sevens captain James Stannard has been ruled out of the Commonwealth Games here after he was admitted to hospital with a fractured skull following an alleged unprovoked assault in Sydney.

The head coach also offered his assurances that the playing group weren't out at such an early hour of the morning for the wrong reasons and said the team had been very supportive of Stannard.

Stannard was taken to a nearby hospital, where he remains in a stable condition and was "diagnosed with a fractured skull", the governing body said.

When asked why the team had been out drinking at 3:00am, Friend said he and Stannard and two other players, Lewis Holland and Ben O'Donnell, were the only ones who had stayed out that late and the night had been so positive, none of them had wanted it to end.

"When he fell to the ground he's done some damage to the side of his head, and the offender ran off".

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. "It didn't look good, but he's doing really well", a relieved Friend said.

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An emotional Friend spoke to media on Saturday afternoon about the events leading up to the moment James Stannard was hit, and the moment he believed one of the team's most popular players may have been killed.

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.

"So people will make their own assessments, but I will assure you, it was not a boozy affair that was going to turn sour".

Inspector Steven Egbers of Maroubra Police revealed Stannard was talking to his alleged attacker before the man launched the unprovoked assault.

'I didn't think about rugby at all for about five days, ' Stannard said at the time.

Stannard had replaced the injured Holland as captain for the tournament.

Current women's sevens coach Tim Walsh, who is leaving his role after the Commonwealth Games, was selected as Friend's replacement.

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