A rugby player deliberately subjected another player to a campaign of violence during a match in Birmingham causing the victim to have to go to hospital, it has been alleged.

Philip Stanley punched and stamped on an opponent as well as gouging his eye during the game played between two amateur sides, the City's Crown Court was told.

Stanley (38), of Rowton Drive, Streetly, has denied five charges of assaulting Warren Spiers.

Stephen Thomas, prosecuting, said the game took place between two local sides, Sutton Coldfield Rugby Club and Aston Old Edwardians, starting at 2.15pm. By 2.45pm one of the Sutton Coldfield Rugby Club players was on his way to hospital, the prosecution says, due to the conduct on the field of the defendant.

"The prosecution case is that this defendant targeted the Sutton Coldfield Rugby Club player during the course of 20 to 25 minutes and subjected him to deliberate violence," he said.

He continued "No one, of course, wants to bring the criminal law into the area of sport if they can possibly help it, Sometimes, though, it cannot be avoided. This, unfortunately, is one of those cases."

Mr Thomas said that some of what happened was captured by an amateur video taken of the game by a spectator and that on it Stanley could be seen punching Mr Spiers at line-outs.

He said there was another incident when the victim had run with the ball across the field and headed before the posts before he was tackled.

Mr Thomas said Mr Spiers went to ground and that the defendant had stretched out his leg and deliberately stamped on his head.

As a result he had to go off the field for treatment and returned wearing a protective cap, he said.

However he had not been on long, he said, when Stanley gouged his eye and punched his forehead, an injury that caused him to leave the field for the final time.

Mr Thomas said in total Mr Spiers had to leave the pitch on three occasions and that he was later treated for a bruised and swollen left eye and cuts to both the front and back of his head.

"The prosecution say this was not anything to do with rugby. The game was a context for the violence that was being done to him," he said.

The case continues.