A Heartland rugby player was assaulted in the main street of Timaru on a night out following an away game, said police.
The 23-year-old East Coast player was attacked outside a nightclub about 3am this morning after his team played South Canterbury.
Radio Live reported the victim was Ben Parkes and the attack was racially-motivated.
Police said the victim sustained a serious injury to his mouth and was being treated at Christchurch Hospital.
They have CCTV footage of the assault, which occurred as a large crowd left a nightclub.
Anyone with information is asked to contact Timaru police.