Daniel Rioli and Shai Bolton from Richmond Football Club’s forward line were involved in an altercation with another person at a nightclub over the weekend, the club has confirmed.
The premiership players were involved in the scrap, which was allegedly sparked when Rioli’s girlfriend was “subjected to inappropriate behaviour” by another person at the club.
“Rioli was punched after confronting the patron and suffered a cut under his eye that required two stitches,” a statement from the club said.
“Bolton became involved in the ensuing altercation and sustained a fractured wrist that will require surgery. He will be sidelined for the next two to three weeks.”
The club nor the AFL have said whether either player will be reprimanded for the incident, with Richmond’s head coach Damien Hardwick telling Fox Footy’s AFL360 that the club determined the players had done nothing wrong.
“From our point of view, our player’s partner is put in an inappropriate situation that she didn’t feel comfortable with and Daniel stood up and tried to eradicate the situation and was punched in the eye,” he said.
“I don’t condone violence, but the reality is put anyone in that situation and they’re going to stand up for their partner and their mates. It was a difficult situation and it’s not one we’d ideally want to be in, but the reality is we are where we are.
“We’ve got to the bottom of it with the evidence we’ve got and the story we have, so from our point of view we back in the players.”
Hardwick also said he expects Daniel Rioli to be good to play this week against GWS Giants.
The fractured wrist now takes Bolton out of the game for the next few weeks while he undergoes and heals from surgery, which means he won’t face the Giants this weekend, the Brisbane Lions on May 21, and Adelaide Crows on May 30 at least.
It could also take Bolton out of the Round 12 Dreamtime At The G clash against Essendon on June 5, if his wrist as not yet healed from surgery.