Rugby World Cup Sevens 2018: Samoa’s Gordon Langkilde charged with assault as Wales’ Tom Williams suffers broken bones
Gordon Langkilde faces one charge of assault and three charges of battery at San Francisco court hearing after incident with Wales players in stadium tunnel
Samoa player Gordon Langkilde faces a court hearing in San Francisco after being arrested and charged with assault by police, with Wales’ Tom Williams suffering broken bones in a post-match tunnel altercation at the Rugby World Cup Sevens.
The off-field incident at AT&T Stadium in San Francisco took place after Samoa’s loss to Wales on July 22, as the teams headed from the pitch to the locker room area.
Langkilde was taken into custody without incident at his San Francisco hotel on Sunday, the police said, after the Samoan Rugby Union (SRU) said it had provisionally suspended the player.
“Langkilde, a visiting rugby player (Samoa) is accused of assaulting two players of another visiting rugby team,” read a police statement.
“A 26-year-old, male (Wales) sustained facial injuries and a 21-year-old, male (Wales) suffered broken facial bones. A third victim, a 24-year-old, male (Wales) sustained facial injuries during the incident.”
A court hearing will be held on Wednesday, with San Francisco’s district attorney confirming Langkilde faces one charge of assault and three charges of battery. The charges include three felonies and one misdemeanour.
“Incidents of this nature are extremely disappointing and take the focus off the game itself,” SRU general manager of high performance Zane Hilton said.
“The SRU is supporting Gordon with the investigations with World Rugby and the local San Francisco police. Our major focus is to support Gordon with every effort possible at this time.”
World Rugby confirmed they are investigating the incident.
“The alleged 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,” a statement from the game’s governing body read.
“World Rugby has instigated an investigation and the Samoa player will remain provisionally suspended until the final conclusion of that process.”
Wales were beaten 27-12 by Ireland in the Challenge Trophy semi-final, after bringing in Will Talbot-Davies to replace Williams.
“After a medical assessment relating to the incident, Wales’ Tom Williams was ruled out of action,” a Welsh Rugby Union statement read.
Gareth WIlliams’ team beat Canada 35-12 in their final game to finish 11th in the men’s competition, which was won by New Zealand.