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Welsh players to receive compensation and apology from Samoan.

THE three Welsh players attacked by Samoan rugby player Gordon Langkilde after their Rugby World Cup Sevens clash in San Francisco in July are set to receive financial compensation and an apology, with the Samoan also agreeing to walk away from the game for a year.

Ospreys youngster Tom Williams sustained broken facial bones and was left bleeding heavily while Welsh team-mates Luke Morgan and Ben Roach were also injured in a tunnel altercation following Wales' 24-19 victory over the Pacific Islanders at AT&T Park.

Langkilde was arrested and initially charged with four counts: one felony count of assault, two felony counts of battery and one misdemeanor count of battery. He spent a week in custody and has been in the United States for two months awaiting trial, which was due to begin on Wednesday.

But on Wednesday morning, Langkilde pleaded guilty to two misdemeanour counts of assault with force likely to cause great bodily injury.

He also agreed to a swathe of conditions as part of his plea, including issue a written apology to his victims, donating $2,500 to a rugby charity and paying compensation to the Wales players.

He is expected to be back home in the Pacific Islands in the coming days.

The Pacific Rugby Players chief executive, Aayden Clark, said he now expects Langkilde to be back home in a matter of days.

"We've had the charges reduced to being misdemeanours. He's committed to a minimum of one year out of the game and will undergo anger management courses and counselling," Clark told RNZ Pacific.

"He's paid a fine to the US courts and also (written) apology letters to the Welsh players...

"He's very much aware of the implications of his actions and obviously very remorseful."

In court, Langkilde had indicated he would step away from the game but was also prepared to undergo disciplinary proceedings from the sport's governing bodies.

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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:Western Mail (Cardiff, Wales)
Date:Sep 21, 2018
Words:317
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