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Wednesday Jul 25, 2018

Samoan player to face court following "assault" on Wales' Tom Williams

Samoan player to face court following

Samoa’s Gordon Langkilde is due to appear in court today on charges of assault after a tunnel incident with Welsh player Tom Williams at the Sevens Rugby World Cup in San Francisco. *SEE UPDATE BELOW

Langkilde is accused of aggravated assault and battery causing serious bodily injury which left Williams with facial injuries at AT&T Park at the weekend.

The two teams had just finished playing the quarter finals of the Challenge Trophy, which Wales – courtesy of a Williams try – won 24-19.

A police statement read: “Langkilde, a visiting rugby player (Samoa) is accused of assaulting two players of another visiting rugby team,” the statement says.

“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.

“Langkilde was taken into custody without incident at his San Francisco hotel.”

There is no doubt Langkilde will face severe consequences if found guilty, most likely a hefty playing ban. The eventual sanctions remains to be seen, but the fact charges have been pressed indicates a much more serious scenario than previous assault-like incidents we’ve seen. 

In Feburary this year England’s Owen Farrell was involved in a tussle with some Scotland players pre-match in the tunnell before their Six Nations clash. 

While this latest incident was off the field, some of the uglier scenes we’ve witnessed have sometimes looked like coming close to off-field sanction.

in 2011, Leicester’s Manu Tuilagi was handed a five-week ban – reduced from 10 – for what looked like an unprovoked, brutal punch on Chris Ashton.

The then Aviva Premiership disciplinary officer Jeff Blackett reflected on this incident by saying: “This sort of incident is very damaging to the image of the game. Had it occurred in the high street an offender would have been prosecuted in the criminal courts.”

Two years ago, Rugby League player Ben Flower copped a six month ban for a similarly awful punch on Lance Hohaia. Flower was red carded but no legal charges were imposed.

Perhaps this latest case may set a precedent for on-field actions to be legally resolved off-field in a fresh drive for justice. We’ll keep updating this story as it develops. 

Manu Tuilagi’s punch on Chris Ashton results in five-week suspension:


Langkilde has been released from jail but has been ordered not to leave the United States, a report in the San Francisco Examiner outlined.

He pleaded not guilty to the four charges he faces for assaulting three Wales players. He was told to hand over his passport and also to stay away from the Wales 7s players Williams,  Luke Morgan and Ben Roach.

The 22-year-old must remain in the USA while awaiting trial for two counts of felony battery, one count of felony assault and one count of misdemeanour battery. If convicted, he faces up to four years in prison. 

He had earlier appeared in court in handcuffs, wearing an orange sweatsuit from the County Jail. A far cry from representing his country at the Sevens Rugby World Cup.

He will next appear in court on Monday for a pre-hearing conference but it could take a fair deal longer before a trial takes place.

The altercation in the tunnel after their match left one Wales player in particular covered in blood after his nose and cheekbone were reportedly broken in the attack.


  • 12:42 AM 31/07/2018

    The only common denominator is that the attacker was of Samoan descent and the "victim" was British. Otherwise I think RD could have found about 100 of these type of incidents from the past 7 years. Poor show RD.

  • drg
    12:55 PM 27/07/2018

    Don't we all?

  • finedisregard
    10:44 AM 26/07/2018

    These guys have a switch.

  • drg
    11:36 PM 25/07/2018

    This stuff after the whistle is not on... But (and not condoning it as there are no real facts out) what did it stem from? Did something happen on the pitch? Were words exchanged in the tunnel, was there a shove from someone to spark it all off? (to appease others) Or was this just a psychopathic act by an unhinged, criminally insane, sure to be wife beating nutcase who will no doubt feature in many horrendous violent acts in the future perhaps both on and off the field

  • 11:09 PM 25/07/2018

    You're right in that sense yes. However, the comparable aspect was the severity of the actions of Tuilagi and Flower. The injuries sustained by the victims in both cases may have warranted further legal actions. It's never something we want to compare and fortunately, these incidents are a minority in the game. I am interested to see if a precedent is set from this.

  • finedisregard
    6:59 PM 25/07/2018

    In the tunnel? Do whatever in between the whistles and I'll shrug it off but after violence off the field makes you low down. Between this and the Spanish players attacking the ref I wonder who is teaching young men how to act.


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Samoan player to face court following "assault" on Wales' Tom Williams | RugbyDump - Rugby News & Videos