A spectator at a Whanganui rugby game claims a player punched him in the middle of a match.

Police and the Wanganui Rugby Union are investigating the alleged assault at the Kaierau v Border premier match earlier this month.

Jarrod Wilson says he was hit by a Kaierau player as he stood behind the sideline ropes at the Kaierau Country Club during the April 7 game.

Wilson claims two players approached him mid-match after some abusive verbal exchanges. He says he suffered a split lip and a chipped tooth during the incident.


Within 24 hours of the alleged incident, Wilson was banned from the Kaierau ground for a year.

Wilson said he had a longstanding conflict with the club and some of its players, dating back to when he played hooker at Kaierau.

He and one player in particular had been friends but had had a falling out. He said that player was verbally niggling him from the field of play during the April 7 match.

"He was saying some pretty nasty things that I don't think you can print. I replied to a few comments and that's why two players — not him — came over to me," Wilson said.

One of those two punched me.

"I have witnesses but, unfortunately, they all have Kaierau affiliations so are too intimidated to say anything.

"I did walk away on the day because players were saying they would see me in the carpark after the game and give me the bash. I thought it was interesting they issued a one-year trespass order within 24 hours."

Kaierau president Kyle Green confirmed the trespass notice saying Wilson had been barred as a spectator for a year.


"And that's all we are about to say at this stage," Green said.

The Kaierau club in Devon Road.
The Kaierau club in Devon Road.

Senior Sergeant Andrew McDonald confirmed the investigation was ongoing.

Police were working through video footage and gathering witness statements, and a decision had yet to be made about any possible charges.

Wanganui Rugby Union chief executive Bridget Belsham said the union took any allegations of assault seriously and she had spent most of last week chasing up witness statements.

Belsham said while video footage confirmed Wilson was approached by two players, no punches appeared to have been thrown.

The video footage was supplied by the Border club.

Belsham declined to name the players involved while the investigation was ongoing.

"Our witness statements, including one from the assistant referee, differ markedly to Mr Wilson's.

"We have passed the video to police and we are keen to get a statement from a Border player who we believe was a key witness. He should provide a neutral voice.

"Mr Wilson told us he has many witnesses, but so far has declined to name them or provide any statements from them.

"He has also declined to provide us with any dentist or doctor's reports about the chipped tooth he says he suffered."