Kiwis rugby league centre Steve Matai was knocked unconscious during an alleged assault by several men on him and clubmate Anthony Watmough in Sydney.
Former Kiwis coach Graham Lowe, the new chief executive of the duo's National Rugby League (NRL) club Manly, said they were approached by a group of men outside Matai's house in an apparently unprovoked attack in the early hours of Sunday morning.
"Steve Matai was hit to the ground, totally unconscious. He was being kicked and punched and goodness knows what. Anthony Watmough jumped on top of his teammate to try and protect him, and he copped the same thing," Lowe told Channel Nine.
The pair were taken to Mona Vale Hospital where they were treated for grazes and head wounds, then discharged.
Both missed training today and were expected to be interviewed by police tomorrow.
The alleged assault happened at around 1.30am (local time) yesterday, a New South Wales police spokesman confirmed.
Matai and Watmough were awaiting a cab on Warringah Rd in the northern beaches suburb of Beacon Hill when they were approached by three men, police said.
"Police have been told an unprovoked assault occurred on the two men. As a result (Matai) fell to the ground and hit his head, losing consciousness for a short period of time."
Channel Nine reported up to 10 men were involved in the alleged assault, and were still being sought by police.
Lowe and Manly coach Des Hasler spoke with Watmough and Matai yesterday and were satisfied with their behaviour.