Australian rugby sevens captain hospitalised after alleged coward punch

James Stannard is recovering in hospital after suffering head injuries outside a Coogee kebab shop on Thursday night. Source Getty

Australian rugby sevens captain James Stannard is in hospital after being the victim of an alleged coward punch attack at a late-night Sydney eatery.

The rugby captain fell and hit his head on the footpath around 3.10am and was later diagnosed with a fractured hospital in St Vincent's Hospital - ruling him out of next month's Commonwealth Games.

It said New South Wales Police have charged a 22-year-old man for an alleged "one-punch" assault.

Rugby Australia said in a statement they are working with NSW Police and would give an update on Stannard's condition on Friday afternoon.

A man approached Stannard around 3am and punched him in the head.

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

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.

The 35-year-old had been out with teammates and his coach Andy Friend, who earlier this month was told his contract would not be renewed next season.

Along with coach Friend and teammates Lewis Holland and Ben O'Donnell, Stannard had been attending a farewell dinner for the departing head coach before the attack occurred.

Rugby's James Stannard (file) has been ruled out of the Commonwealth Games with a fractured skull.

Stannard has been cleared by his neurosurgeon and an ear, nose and throat specialist to leave hospital, however he is likely to remain there for another day.

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

The group had earlier been at a farewell dinner for Friend which was arranged by team management.

Stannard played a Games warm-up match against New Zealand on Thursday.

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.

"We don't know that at this stage".

The British man, charged with assault occasioning actual bodily harm, was granted conditional bail on Friday and is due to return to court on April 19.

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