A MAN knifed in the shoulder during an attempted robbery said his days playing rugby helped him fend off his attackers.

Iain Sach, who works at JP Morgan in Bournemouth, was confronted by a hooded man wielding a blade as he walked along Chaseside late at night on June 15.

Unbeknown to him, another man holding a knife had crept up behind, and as Mr Sach used his backpack as a shield, he was viciously stabbed.

Fortunately, he was not badly injured, and was able to seek help from the police and ambulance services at JP Morgan’s manned guardhouse.

He said: “As I was walking, I felt someone grab my rucksack and I got dragged around.

“It was strapped around my waist and my chest at the time. He was trying to pull the bag off.”

As Mr Sach came face-to-face with his assailant, he saw the knife.

“I used to play a lot of rugby, and I know that in the first five minutes, if you back down you’ve got a horrible game ahead of you,” he said.

“I pulled my bag off and began using it as a shield and I managed to kick him hard in the leg. I was just focused on the knife.

“But as I was looking, the other one came up behind me and stabbed me in the shoulder.”

But the former flanker continued to fight, turning to face the second attacker, who ran away.

“I was still trying to concentrate on the one in front at the same time,” he said.

“The pathway is only about four paces wide, so I couldn’t back off – it was all at very close range.”

After both men ran off, he called for help and praised the quick response of Dorset Police officers.

He said: “They were amazing.

“Even before I got into the ambulance to go to hospital, they’d arrested them both.”

Last week, 19-year-old Kyle Mayes – also known by the surname Mayez – and 23-year-old Damien Johnson were jailed for five years each for admitting attempted robbery and possession of a bladed article.

Mayes also pleaded guilty to another robbery committed against a 20-year-old man on the same date.

Sentencing them both, Judge Peter Johnson said: “I have taken the view that this is a serious matter not least because of the injury caused to the victim, who is a plucky man.”