Tunnel brawl sours Sevens showpiece
POST-TOURNAMENT REACTION: World Rugby and Californian police are investigating a tunnel altercation that left a Wales Sevens player unable to play in the rest of the World Cup.
A member of Samoa’s World Cup Sevens squad was suspended, following a post-match tunnel brawl.
The post-match fracas left Welsh player Tom Williams with a tournament-ending injury.
Gordon Langkilde was benched for Samoa’s games in the consolation rounds at the AT&T Park on Sunday, after a stormy end to Wales’ 24-19 win over the South Pacific Islanders on Saturday.
“We can confirm a Samoa player has been suspended from World Cup Sevens, following an initial investigation into an incident in the tunnel area after a match between Samoa,” World Rugby said in a statement.
“The behaviour is not aligned with the sport’s values and the excellent spirit in which this competition has been played by the 40 participating teams.
“World has instigated an investigation and the Samoa player will remain provisionally suspended until the final conclusion of that process.”
A Welsh Union statement said Williams had been deemed unfit to continue playing in the tournament following the tunnel incident.
“After medical assessment relating to the incident, Tom Williams was ruled out of the match against Ireland,” the union said in a statement.
The exact nature of Williams’ injury was not disclosed.
One report said the player had been left bleeding profusely following the altercation.
Wales were given special dispensation to replace Williams with a 13th player, Will Talbot-Davies.
Wales player Luke Treharne told AFP on Sunday the team had been shocked by the incident.
“When it all comes out you’ll see all the details of it, but it’s pretty shocking stuff,” Treharne said, describing the bust-up as unprovoked.
“Nothing really sparked it or anything, just unprovoked. Nasty stuff to see,” he said.
Wales were beaten 27-12 by Ireland in their Challenge semi-final game but then defeated Canada 35-12 in their 11th place playoff tie.