Fresh details emerge after AFL players injured in nightclub fight

·Sports Editor
·3-min read
Shai Bolton and Daniel Rioli, pictured here with their girlfriends.
Shai Bolton and Daniel Rioli were reportedly celebrating Bolton's partner's birthday. Image: Instagram

Fresh details have emerged about the nightclub altercation that resulted in injuries for Richmond pair Shai Bolton and Daniel Rioli.

Bolton will miss up to three games after he fractured his wrist in the incident, while Rioli suffered a cut under his eye after he was punched in the face.

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Richmond have since defended the pair, saying Rioli and Bolton had reacted to "inappropriate behaviour" towards Rioli's girlfriend.

New details have since emerged, with the Herald Sun reporting "multiple players" from other clubs were also at the club celebrating Bolton's partner's birthday.

Fellow Richmond player Mabior Chol was reportedly in attendance, while Geelong have confirmed Quinton Narkle and Esava Ratugolea were also at the club.

There are no suggestions any of the other players did anything wrong.

On Monday, Richmond coach Damien Hardwick confirmed Bolton had undergone surgery, saying he suffered the injury after Rioli's girlfriend was "subjected to inappropriate behaviour" from a fellow nightclub patron.

Rioli confronted the patron and was punched in the face, suffering a cut under his eye that required two stitches, with Bolton stepping in.

Hardwick defended both players on Monday night and said he believed many people would have reacted the same way.

"A player's partner was put in an inappropriate situation that she didn't feel comfortable with and Daniel stood up and tried to eradicate the situation and was punched in the eye," Hardwick told Fox Footy.

"I don't condone violence but the reality is, you put anyone in that situation, they're going to stand up for their partner and their mates and Shai was the same.

"So, look, it was a difficult situation. It's not one ideally we want to be in but the reality is we are where we are."

Daniel Rioli and Shai Bolton, pictured here at a Richmond Tigers training session.
Daniel Rioli and Shai Bolton at a Richmond Tigers training session. (Photo by Matt Roberts/Getty Images)

Fight won't affect Richmond re-signing Shai Bolton

Meanwhile, Richmond chief executive Brendon Gale says Bolton's involvement in the fight will not hurt the young star's bid for a bumper new contract with the Tigers.

Bolton has become one of Richmond's most crucial players and is set to sign a hefty new contract from next year and beyond.

"We're in discussions with Shai and (his manager) Ralph (Carr)," Gale told SEN.

"This (incident) will have no bearing on those discussions.

"I'm confident he won't be going anywhere. He loves it here, he thrives here and really belongs here."

Gale said it was a disappointing situation the pair found themselves in and preferred the club not to be having to deal with it.

"At the end of the day, Daniel and Shai responded to what they deemed to be inappropriate conduct," Gale added.

"Gee it would be a whole lot easier if Shai and Daniel sat home on the couch every night, but that's not the way you expect to live.

"From time to time they're going to make mistakes."

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with AAP

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