Australian national rugby sevens captain James Stannard is in hospital in a stable condition after being injured in a coward punch attack in Sydney early this morning.

Stannard is confirmed to have suffered a fractured skull in the unprovoked attacked, which occurred at around 3:10am outside a kebab shop on Coogee Bay Road, in Sydney’s east.

Stannard had earlier attended a farewell dinner for coach Andy Friend. He and his attacker reportedly exchanged conversation before Stannard was struck in the head, causing him to fall and hit his head on the pavement.

The alleged assailant attempted to flee the scene, but he was chased down and detained by Friend and Sevens teammates Lewis Holland and Ben O’Donnell until police arrived.

NSW Police confirmed they had arrested a 22-year-old British man in connection to the incident.

Stannard was taken to hospital in a stable condition, and he is reportedly conscious and communicating.

The attack puts the 33-year-old in severe doubt for Australia’s Sevens campaign at the upcoming Commonwealth Games, which begins on the Gold Coast on April 13th. He had been announced as captain of the Games squad just last week, after serving as a mainstay of the side for more than a decade.

The alleged attacker was taken to Maroubra Police Station where investigators formally charged him with assault occasioning actual bodily harm.

He was granted bail and is now scheduled to appear at Waverley Local Court on April 19th.

UPDATE: Officials have since formally ruled Stannard out of the Commonwealth Games.

Source: Fox Sports
Image: Getty Images / Matt King