Sharks player
facing jail

Tension between two Cronulla rugby league players has left one with a fractured cheekbone and the other, New Zealander Jason Williams, in jail on assault charges.

Williams, 23, appeared in a Parramatta bail court on Saturday over an alleged attack on teammate Jeremy Smith.

He was charged with one count of maliciously inflicting grievous bodily harm in company and one count of common assault.

Registrar Brian Fenn refused bail due to "the general welfare and protection of both the victim and the community".

Williams, an off-season buy from the Canterbury Bulldogs is described as the strongest man at the Cronulla Sharks.

The 115kg second rower or prop made his National Rugby League first-grade debut this season and has played six first-grade games for the Sharks.

Smith plays for the Sharks' Premier League side.

Sharks chief executive Steve Rogers said Williams was facing the sack from the club after facing court.

"We put him on notice that he would go if there were any further incidents with Jeremy," Rogers said yesterday.

Rogers said Smith would likely be unable to play for the rest of the season.

He would not elaborate on the origin of the feud.

The court was told the feud had began in January and the players had come to blows on two previous occasions.

Police allege Williams and an acquaintance bashed Smith unconscious at a Cronulla night club last week.

Documents tendered in court revealed the Sharks had twice banned Williams from playing after incidents involving the pair.

On a bus trip on February 7, police documents allege teammates had to pull Williams off Smith after he punched him.

It is also alleged Williams hit his teammate high and late in a tackle at training.

Smith, who told police he had little recollection of the attack, went to Sutherland Hospital with a fractured cheekbone and swelling to his head. He had surgery on his cheek the following day.

Williams allegedly admitted to being present during the incident but denied taking part, claiming he attempted to separate Smith and another man during what he described as "a fair fight".

He is to reappear at Sutherland Local Court today.

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