Rugby winger’s jaw ‘broken by one punch’

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A RUGBY UNION player has gone on trial, accused of breaking an opponent’s jaw during a match.

Wing forward Fabrizio Mazza, of Southgate, Elland, is alleged to have punched Samuel Hopton midway through the second half.

Mazzi, 26, was playing for Huddersfield YMCA. Mr Hopton was wing forward for West Park, in Leeds.

Mazza, who denies a charge of grievous bodily harm, has gone on trial at Bradford Crown Court.

The jury was told the game was held in December 2010 at Huddersfield.

Prosecutor Anthony Moore said Mr Hopton had to leave the field and later went to hospital.

He was found to have suffered two fractures to his jaw. One was fixed with a plate and Mr Hopton spent two nights in hospital.

He was put on a soft-food diet for four to six weeks.

Mr Moore said the jury would hear from two other West Park players who claimed to have seen the single punch.

Mazza was questioned by police about a fortnight after the match and denied any assault had taken place.

He suggested the injury could have been caused by Mr Hopton coming into the ruck with force and trying to barge him out of the way.

Mr Moore said when the accounts of the other players were put to Mazza. he said they were just sticking up for their mate.

The trial continues.