Otaki rugby injury sends chopper into action again

LUCY TOWNEND
Last updated 12:00 24/06/2014

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Four teenagers have been flown to hospital in the past five weeks with rugby injuries, including one player who remains in a specialty spinal unit in Christchurch.

The Palmerston North Rescue Helicopter was called to another school-aged rugby game on Saturday in Otaki after a 13-year-old was injured in a game between Otaki-based club Rahui and the Levin College Old Boys/Wanderers.

Horowhenua Kapiti Rugby Union chief executive Corey Kennett said the scrum screwed and collapsed backwards on top of the player, who injured his neck.

He was flown to Palmerston North Hospital as a precaution, but was released the same day with only bruising. There were no concerns about concussion, Kennett said.

Two other teens from Tararua were injured earlier this month when they clashed heads during a first XV game between Tararua College and Dannevirke High School.

Dannevirke player Andrew Galloway, 16, suffered a fat lip, some loose teeth and a mouth full of blood when he and Tararua player Jacob Bennett, 17, collided. Bennett was knocked out and pulled the tendons in his jaw.

Both teens were airlifted to hospital as a precautionary measure, were checked and released.

Awatapu College player Nat Manville, 18, who fractured a vertebrae in his neck during a game at Pahiatua, remains in hospital. He was flown to Christchurch when he was injured on May 17 and spent a month in the intensive care unit before being moved to Burwood Hospital's spinal unit last week.

Manawatu Rugby Union chief executive John Knowles has said it was impossible to avoid all injury in a contact sport like rugby, but there were robust safety standards in place.

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- Manawatu Standard

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