Photographer says brawl between amateur rugby teams the worst he's witnessed

A sports photographer is describing a brawl at an Auckland rugby field as one of the worst he's ever witnessed.

Brad James says the violence broke out between the Ōtāhuhu and Pakuranga teams during the weekend.

"What we witnessed yesterday is a new low for Auckland rugby," he wrote on Facebook.

"A [premier] development game done and dusted, then when the teams lined up to shake hands a player from Ōtāhuhu for no apparent reason attacked one of the Pakuranga players.

"This quickly escalated into a brawl with Pakuranga players fighting off the ensuing attack. The ref and team officials intervened and broke this up."

The fight later resumed as the Pakuranga team headed towards the changing rooms and the Ōtāhuhu team attacked again.

One player in the Pakuranga team received several punches to the head.

Mr James says it was shocking, but he felt compelled to keep filming the incident so others could see what happened.

"There's no amateur players association saying 'we're getting beaten up every week' so this is the voice of the players... saying 'hey, I'm saying this needs to be stopped'," he told Newshub.

Mr James says it only took one player to start the fight and he thinks most players don't want to face "thugs".

"If you're going to be a thug we don't want you, and I don't think any one of the players that run onto a field on a Saturday wants that player on the field that's a thug," he said.

"They want to play good, hard rugby."

An Auckland Rugby Union spokesperson told Stuff they would be investigating the incident and a judicial review will be taking place.

Packuranga Club captain Neville Shirley told NZME they had lodged an official complaint with the union. 

Ōtāhuhu rugby football club president John Roache told NZME they would be speaking with the players and coaches involved.