Injured student on mend

JARED NICOLL
Last updated 21:08 31/07/2012

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A Queen Charlotte College student is expected to be back in school today after being seriously injured in a weekend rugby game.

Under-16 team member Devon Payne, of Picton, was flown to Christchurch Hospital after damaging his C1 and C2 vertebrae and suffering a concussion during a game against Central in Blenheim on Saturday.

He was treated by first-aid staff on the side of the field after colliding with another player and taken to Wairau Hospital by his mother as a precaution. The serious nature of the injuries called for him to be flown to Christchurch Hospital for further tests.

The extent of the damage became clear after an MRI scan in Christchurch revealed his cervical vertebrae, the part of the spine directly below the skull, was damaged in the incident.

Queen Charlotte College under-16 rugby team coach Jack Saxon said Devon was discharged from hospital yesterday and expected to be at school today.

"All the medical processes were followed on the day and we've had a positive outcome.

"The [New Zealand Rugby Union] has guidelines on how to treat injuries."

The budding sports star was part of the college's team that won all their singles matches against Nayland College in the finals at the Tasman secondary schools badminton championships in early June.

Queen Charlotte College school principal Tom Parsons was at the game and said the injury should be placed within the team's seasonal context.

"We've had one serious injury out of 16 games. It's the first serious injury despite the inherent risks of playing contact sports."

Mr Parsons wished Devon well and said it would be good to have him back in school.

Devon's family declined to comment on the incident.

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- The Marlborough Express

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