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Samoan player held in America


Samoan player held in America after pleading not guilty to assaulting Welsh trio

Gordon Langkilde faces up to four years in prison if he is convicted of assaulting three Welsh players last weekend in San Francisco. The Samoan sevens player has been ordered not to leave the United States after being released from jail.

The San Francisco Examiner says that the 22-year-old was also ordered to stay away from Wales Sevens players Tom Williams, Luke Morgan, and Ben Roach, who Langkilde is alleged to have assaulted.

Langkilde was told he must remain in the States while awaiting trial on numerous account of battery and assault. The incidents happened at around 3:30pm on Saturday.

The Samoan player was accompanied by his team manager Peter Poulos, as he pleaded not guilty to the charges that had been made against him.

His attorney, Joshua Bentley stated that:

My client will not leave the country if released, his passport is with the sheriff.

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Three Welsh players were left with injuries with Tom Williams suffering broken facial bones.

An official statement was released by San Francisco police.

“Langkilde, a visiting rugby player (Samoa) is accused of assaulting two players of another visiting rugby team. 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. While an arrest has been made, this remains an active and ongoing investigation.”

The WRU has responded with their own press release and says no Welsh player is facing punishment.

“Following the match between Wales and Samoa in San Francisco, an incident took place in the stadium tunnel which has led to the Samoa Rugby Union provisionally suspending one of their players. After a medical assessment relating to the incident, Wales’ Tom Williams was ruled out of action.”

Mr Bentley and Poulos both declined to comment outside the courtroom.

Langkilde is scheduled to appear in court on Monday for a pre-hearing conference although it could be several weeks, if not months, before the case reaches a trial.

The unsavoury incident took place after Wales had beaten Samoa in the final moments of the match, winning the game by a “Golden Point” in extra time.

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Samoan player held in America after pleading not guilty to assaulting Welsh trio