Three French rugby internationals who all play for Clermont were attacked by a gang with machetes and swords in southern France, police said on Sunday.
The armed men set upon Aurélien Rougerie, Julien Pierre and Benjamin Kayser in Millau, southern France, as they walked back to their hotel at around 3am.
"As they walked back to their hotel overnight Saturday, a group of players was assaulted by a dozen people carrying weapons including machetes, sabres," the club said.
All three were rushed to hospital after the attack in the southern town of Millau, but none of their injuries were life-threatening, the club said.
Pierre, who with Rougerie was in the French team that lost the 2011 Rugby World Cup final, needed to undergo surgery on "deep cuts" to his hip, the Clermont club said.
The players were briefly staying in Millau on their way to a training camp. They had been to a nightclub and were walking back to their hotel when they were set upon by the gang for no apparent reason, police said, adding that no-one was detained at the scene of the attack.
"We are deeply shocked and outraged by these acts and will give all the necessary support to the local authorities," the Clermont club said in a statement.
Jean-Marc Lhermet, Clermont's sporting director, told AFP the attack was "as unexpected as it was brutal."
Lhermet said that Kayser and Rougerie were due to leave hospital on Sunday evening.
Rougerie, 33, is Clermont's captain and has 77 caps for France. Kayser, 29, has played 24 times for France and Pierre, 33, has 27 caps.
(FRANCE 24 with REUTERS, AFP)
Date created : 2014-07-21