VIDEO: 'My instinct was it was fatal'
WATCH as Australian Sevens coach Andy Friend describes the brutal one-punch attack on captain James Stannard.
An emotional Andy Friend has spoken to the media about Thursday’s one-punch attack on skipper James Stannard.
The head coach said that his instinct was that the ‘coward punch’ attack on the Austrailian Sevens captain in the early hours of the morning was a fatal one.
Stannard was due to lead his country in the upcoming Gold Coast Games on home soil, but was hospitalised after allegedly being punched in the head in the Sydney suburbs in the early hours of Friday morning.
Stannard is believed to be making a good recovery following the assault that left him with a fractured skull and is hoping to leave hospital tomorrow.
He will however now miss the Commonwealth Games
The 35-year-old was recently appointed as Australia sevens skipper following an injury sustained by Lewis Holland.
“It would’ve been James’ third Commonwealth Games said Rugby Australia high-performance manager Ben Whitaker.
“He’s an extremely important member of our team both on-field and off-field and the team will have to show again that we’re a very resilient team to get through this to support James a) to get healthy and b) to work their way towards gold at the Comm Games.”
Stannard was due to retire this season and Whitaker said it remains to be seen whether he will play again.
“We don’t know that at this stage. We know that right now he needs some time to heal,” added Whitaker.
“He’s not available for the Commonwealth Games and that’s obviously a massive disappointment for all of us and James and his family and then once that’s sorted, we’ll look at how he can return to play.”
Cult-figure Stannard became the leading Australian points scorer in World Series history when he overtook Peter Miller’s tally of 631 in Wellington in January 2016. Stannard was a member of the Australian side that won a Silver medal at the 2010 Commonwealth Games in Delhi, India and captained the side that won the London Sevens at Twickenham in the same year.