Five Catalan Dragons were held in police cells as their team-mates flew back to France yesterday, following a brawl in Leeds city centre in the early hours of the morning.
The players had lost their Super League match at Wakefield on Sunday afternoon and a group of them became allegedly involved in the violence shortly after 2am. The players have not been named, but it is understood that all but one of them is French. They were being interviewed last night, pending a decision on whether any of them will face any charges.
The Perpignan-based Dragons, who have been a major success in their four years in Super League, said they were co-operating with investigations and would be making no further comment.
West Yorkshire Police said that the incident had been brought to their attention by a CCTV operator covering the Boar Lane area. Nine men were arrested in all and two others were taken to hospital with head injuries, which were said to be not life-threatening.
The incident comes hard on the heels of the arrest of six Huddersfield Giants players last month after allegations of rape in Newcastle. The six are on bail and waiting to hear whether they will be charged. In a more conventional setback, their prop, Keith Mason, will be out of action for two months with biceps damage. Dragons' forward Remy Casty has been cited for an alleged high tackle in the Wakefield match. Huddersfield's Andy Raleigh and Ryan Esders of Harlequins are also charged with offences from their weekend games at today's RFL hearing.
St Helens are waiting anxiously to learn how long they will be without three players following their opening round defeat by Hull.
Ade Gardner has rib cartilage damage, whilst Sia Soliola injured an ankle on his debut and James Graham has a sternum injury. The brighter news is that Francis Meli has returned from compassionate leave and will play at Bradford on Sunday.
South Wales Scorpions have named their 23-man squad for the Championship 1 season. They include the Australian-born Andrew Gay, the South African Christiaan Roets, the experienced lower-division player Loz Wildbore and several from a rugby union background.
The Scorpions will also be able to draw upon British players not required by Crusaders in Super League on any given weekend.