Wales and Exeter prop Craig Mitchell has received a suspended six-month jail term after admitting to an unprovoked assault in a Brisbane hotel after the first Test between Australia and the British & Irish Lions.
Mitchell, who has made 15 appearances for Wales, including on their recent tour of Japan, was also fined $A$1800 and had to pay $A3000 compensation after knocking out solicitor Cian Barry with a single punch.
Mitchell, 27, admitted wading into an altercation between fans that Barry was trying to calm down at the Normanby Hotel in the early hours of last Sunday after the Lions had defeated the Wallabies. Mitchell, who pleaded guilty to aggravated assault occasioning bodily harm, apologised in court describing his actions as "totally unacceptable and unforgivable".
Barry, who needed stitches to his face, said outside the court that Mitchell should have been put behind bars. "It was horrendous. It was unprovoked violence, everyone's had enough of it."
Exeter have also announced that Mitchell will be subject to an internal disciplinary hearing. "Exeter Rugby Club deeply regrets that one of its employees has faced court action in relation to their personal behaviour," the Premiership club said in a statement.
"The club does not condone law breaking of any kind and will continue to stress with all of its employees the importance of acting as positive ambassadors - even in difficult and unwanted circumstances.