Erstwhile All Black hero Byron Kelleher could face charges in France after reported attempts to flee a late-night car accident ended in a drunken brawl and injury.

Kelleher was arrested, but was reportedly too intoxicated to give his account of events at the police station. Instead, he was sent to hospital for treatment of a fracture under his eye and face and shoulder pain.

The injuries, coming on top of an existing shoulder strain, may rule him out of rugby for up to two months.

Yesterday, Kelleher's parents were unsure whether they would fly to Toulouse to support him.

Kelleher was released by police on Friday afternoon, French time. No charges had been laid last night, but police were continuing investigations. The Herald on Sunday has learned that the three parties to the altercation are all threatening to press charges against each another.

Toulouse prosecutor Michel Valet told French newspaper La Depeche: "When the police intervened, they saw that the motorist that had caused the crash was a famous rugby player. And it was clear that he had been taking alcohol."

The French media have made great play of the incident. France's rugby fraternity was embarrassed by false allegations of assault made by touring rugby national Mathieu Bastareaud, after a drunken night out in Wellington this year. Now, the French perceive the tables to be turned.

La Depeche reported Kelleher and two friends had been drinking heavily at popular bar L'Envol in downtown Toulouse, leaving the club early on Friday morning in a Peugeot 308. At about 3am local time, Kelleher allegedly had a fender-bender with a Porsche.

The two drivers started a conversation through their car windows and Kelleher, 32, was asked to help write an accident report. But he denied responsibility and drove off.

The Porsche driver, who was with his wife and another friend, followed Kelleher to another intersection where an argument erupted.

The driver claimed that Kelleher verbally abused him then physically laid into him, knocking him to the ground.

Two other motorists, who recognised Kelleher from the bar, intervened and offered to help, but Kelleher and his two friends allegedly abused them too. The trio reportedly pushed and shoved one of the passersby, thought to be in his late teens, who ran away. The three men followed briefly, before giving up and returning to their car.

On getting back to the car they noticed the second man who had intervened, believed to be a 25-year-old who had been at the same bar. They allegedly pushed him to the ground, and kicked him in the legs.

Kelleher is reported to have tried to punch him in the head, but the man avoided the blow and returned a punch to Kelleher's face. The rugby star was reportedly knocked unconscious for a few moments.

The couple in the Porsche called police. Three police cars arrived and the rugby player and his friends were arrested. Kelleher was reportedly too drunk for a breathalyser test at the police station.

Byron's mother Carol said yesterday she didn't know how her son was doing. Asked whether she and husband Kurt would fly to France she said: "We don't know".

English rugby player Jonny Wilkinson allegedly had a car crash in the same area on Thursday night, local time.

* Kelleher's chequered career
Oct 08: Kelleher found not guilty of foul play by the European judiciary. He was charged with stomping South African Butch James in the Heineken Cup.

Jul 08: A shirtless Kelleher got 30,000 hits on YouTube for an impromptu truck roof haka. (View on YouTube)
Nov 07: Kelleher made his debut with French club Toulouse.

2007: Left the Chiefs. Signed contract to play for French's Agen team but contract was cancelled.

Sep 06: The million-dollar lifestyle block was put on the market.

Jun 06: The couple split and Spalding went back to the United States.

Mar 06: Kelleher called police after Spalding's cellphone was stolen, with explicit pictures of the pair.

Jan 06: Kelleher bought a lifestyle block at Te Puna near Tauranga, worth about $1 million.

2005: Kelleher met porn star Kaylani Lei, 29, real name Ashley Spalding.

2004: Joined the Chiefs team.

2003: Left the Highlanders Super 14 team.

Jun 99: All Black debut against Samoa at North Shore Stadium as a half-back. Kelleher played 57 tests for the All Blacks between 1999 and 2007.

1999: New Zealand's Super 12 Player of the Year.

1998: Joined the Highlanders.