Australian rugby player James Stannard retires after head injury from alleged assault

An Australian rugby union player allegedly assaulted by a Briton has announced his retirement from the game.

Former Australia Sevens captain James Stannard, 35, suffered a head injury in an incident outside a kebab shop in Sydney in the early hours of March 30.

He was reportedly diagnosed with a fractured skull and was unable to lead his country at the Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast in April.

On Saturday, Stannard posted on Instagram that his playing days were over.

He wrote: "It is with great sadness that I'm announcing my forced retirement from rugby as a player due to head injuries I recently suffered.

"It has been my greatest honour and privilege to have been able to pull on the 'Green and Gold' and represent my country beside my mates, men I count as brothers over the past decade or so. The international rugby family have been so supportive and I'm humbled and thankful

"I want to thank my family, teammates, staff and opponents both here in Australia and around the world.

"It's been a fantastic ride, I've learnt so much and enjoyed every minute."

Sam Oliver, 22, has previously appeared in court in Australia and pleaded not guilty to assault occasioning actual bodily harm.

- PA


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