Australia sevens captain Stannard suffers fractured skull

Stannard was knocked to the floor in the alleged unprovoked attack at a kebab shop on Coogee Bay Road in the eastern suburb of Coogee at 3.10am on Friday

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.

"Every indication at this point in time, is that there'll be no long-term damage to James, he will be fine".

Stannard was taken to St Vincent's Hospital in the city centre where he was understood to be "in a stable condition with head injuries".

Stannard is now conscious and in a stable condition at St Vincent's Hospital.

They later said that Stannard had suffered a fractured skull in the attack.

Ben Whitaker, a general manager at Australian rugby's governing body, said that Stannard was an "extremely important" member of the squad and they had been left "shocked" by the incident.

"As a result, he fell and struck his head on the pavement", police said in a statement.

The blow brought back bad 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.

He only recently replaced injured captain Lewis Holland.

The team had attended a farewell dinner for Friend, who did not have his contract renewed by Rugby Australia and will leave the team later this year.

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

A replacement for the double Commonwealth Games medallist will be named by Rugby Australia in due course.

Stannard was with some of his Australia team-mates at the time of the apparently unprovoked attack, having earlier been at a farewell lunch for departing coach Andy Friend.

"I get it, people will assume because you're out at 3am that you're doing something wrong", he said.

The team prepared for the Games here by playing two matches against New Zealand at Newington College in Sydney yesterday.

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

Oliver was granted strict conditional bail and will appear at Waverley Local Court on Thursday, April 19.

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