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Dublin: 12 °C Thursday 23 October, 2014

French rugby internationals injured in vicious machete attack

Aurelien Rougerie, Julien Pierre and Benjamin Kayser were set upon as they walked back to their team hotel last night.

Clermont captain Aurelien Rougerie was one of three players injured in the late-night attack.
Clermont captain Aurelien Rougerie was one of three players injured in the late-night attack.
Image: Cathal Noonan/INPHO

A DOZEN ARMED men attacked French rugby union internationals Aurelien Rougerie, Julien Pierre and Benjamin Kayser with machetes as they walked back to their hotel at night, their club, Clermont, has confirmed.

Pierre, who with Rougerie was in the French team that lost the 2011 Rugby World Cup final, was to undergo surgery on “deep cuts” to his hip. All three were rushed to hospital after the attack in the southern town of Millau, but none of their injuries were life-threatening, the club added.

“As they walked back to their hotel overnight Saturday, a group of players was assaulted by a dozen people carrying weapons including machetes, sabres,” a Clermont statement read.

The players were briefly staying in Millau before leaving for a training camp. Police said the incident took place at around 3:00am after the players went to a nightclub, where they may have rowed with other revellers.

No one was immediately detained. The club — one of the best in France — said Kayser and Rougerie had both sustained injuries on their arms and denounced an “extremely violent” incident.

The entire club is deeply shocked and outraged by these acts and will bring all the necessary support to local authorities who have launched a probe.”

Rougerie is Clermont’s captain and has 77 caps for France. Kayser has played 24 times for France and Pierre has 27 caps. The Top 14 side reached the semi-final of the Heineken Cup last season but were defeated at Twickenham by Saracens.

- © AFP, 2014

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