Three France rugby players attacked with machetes

French rugby union internationals Aurelien Rougerie, Julien Pierre and Benjamin Kayser were attacked by up to a dozen men with with machetes as they walked back to their hotel at night.

French Top 14 Rugby club Clermont Auverge have reported that Pierre will have surgery for “deep cuts” on his hip after the attack.

Pierre and Rougerie were in the France team that lost to New Zealand in the 2011 Rugby World Cup final.

All three players were rushed to hospital in France after the attack took place in the southern town of Millau.

Clermont said while they were all taken to hospital none of the players’ injuries were were life-threatening.

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

The Clermont players were on a training camp in Millau when the attack occurred but had the night off and spent it in a nightclub.

Police said that the incident happened at around 3:00am after they had left the nightclub and it may have been as a result of an argument in the club.

ASM Clermont’s sporting director Jean-Marc Lhermet told AFP that the attack was “as unexpected as it was brutal.”

“No one was expecting that. The evening had gone really well,” he said.

“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,” it said.

Thirty-three-year-old Rougerie is Clermont club captain and has played 77 times for France while Kayser, 29, has played 24 times for France.

Thirty-three-year-old Pierre has won 27 caps for France.

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