Page last updated at 15:00 GMT, Thursday, 18 December 2008

Rugby international on GBH charge

Lesley Vainikolo
Lesley Vainikolo has won five England caps

Gloucester and England rugby player Lesley Vainikolo has been charged with carrying out a serious attack outside a Bath nightclub.

A man in his 20s received head injuries in the incident on 26 October. He was later discharged from hospital.

The 29-year-old winger from Cheltenham is due at Bath Magistrates' Court on 2 January to face a charge of causing grievous bodily harm with intent.

Nicknamed the Volcano, he has won five England caps.

The Tongan-born player qualified for England through residency and made his debut during this year's Six Nations competition.

Alastair Downey, Gloucester Rugby Club spokesman, said there was "no reason" Vainikolo could not feature in the Premiership club's next match.

In a statement, the club said the player "vigorously contests" the allegation and would not allow the case to distract him from his game.

Mr Downey said: "As demonstrated this season, [he] remains completely focused on his rugby."



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