Aurelien Rougerie, Benjamin Kayser and Julien Pierre hospitalised after attack by gang with machetes, knifes and swords in France

French internationals suffer 'deep cuts' and Pierre will have to undergo surgery on his hip, but the injuries are not thought to be life-threatening

Three France internationals have been left in hospital after they were attacked by “a dozen” armed men wielding machetes, knives and swords.

Aurelien Rougerie, Julien Pierre and Benjamin Kayser, who all play for French club Clermont Auvergne, were taken to hospital after the attack happened early on Sunday morning as they made their way back to their hotel in the southern town of Millau.

The club confirmed that the injuries are not life-threatening, but Pierre will need surgery on “deep cuts” to his hip.

The club issued a statement on their official website on Sunday night, which read: “While returning on foot to their hotel overnight from Saturday to Sunday, a group of Clermont players was attacked by a dozen individuals armed with machetes, knives and swords.

“A police investigation was opened immediately in Millau, where the Clermont players were staying before travelling to Falgos (a training camp) for a few days.

“Following the attack, Benjamin Kayser (arm injury), Aurelien Rougerie (arm injury) and Julien Pierre (hip injury) had to be hospitalised.

Video: Rugby players hospitalised after machete attack

“Their lives are not at risk but the Clermont lock (Pierre) needs to undergo surgery to treat deep cuts.”

Rougerie captains Top 14 side Clermont and earned 76 caps for France during a successful career that is winding down towards and end. The 33-year-old, who led Clermont to the 2010 Top 14 title, has not played for France since the 2012 Six Nations match against Wales.

29-year-old Kayser still features for France under current coach Philippe Saint-Andre and has amassed 24 times for his country, while Pierre, 33, has 27 international caps.

The club added that they were “shocked and outraged” by the late night attack and have promised to help local authorities with “finding and punishing the perpetrators”.

“In addition to any complaints from the individual players involved, the club will also consider pursuing its own judicial proceedings.

“We will provide more information on the health of our players as soon as possible.”

Clermont are due to begin their Top 14 campaign on Saturday 16 August against Grenoble.

Recently retired World Cup winner Mike Tindall posted a tweet saying: “Crazy that some of the @ASMOfficiel boys attacked by machetes last night”.

Referee Nigel Owens added: “What is this crazy world coming too? Hope you all get well soon. Clermont stars in hospital after machete attack.”

IRB CEO Brett Gosper also tweeted on the matter, saying: “Shocked to hear of brutal attack on Clermont rugby stars.Bon courage les gars. @BenjaminKayser @JulienPierre4 #AurelienRougerie @ASMOfficiel.”

Arts and Entertainment
Joe Cocker performing on the Stravinski hall stage during the Montreux Jazz Festival, in Montreux, Switzerland in 2002
musicHe 'turned my song into an anthem', says former Beatle
News
Clarke Carlisle
sport
Sport
footballStoke City vs Chelsea match report
Arts and Entertainment
theatreThe US stars who've taken to UK panto, from Hasselhoff to Hall
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
Approaching sale shopping in a smart way means that you’ll get the most out of your money
life + styleSales shopping tips and tricks from the experts
News
newsIt was due to be auctioned off for charity
News
Coca-Cola has become one of the largest companies in the world to push staff towards switching off their voicemails, in a move intended to streamline operations and boost productivity
peopleCoca-Cola staff urged to switch it off to boost productivity
Environment
Sir David Attenborough
environment... as well as a plant and a spider
Voices
'That's the legal bit done. Now on to the ceremony!'
voicesThe fight for marriage equality isn't over yet, says Siobhan Fenton
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there