Injuries in rugby union just part of the sport

Last updated 15:45 09/06/2014

Relevant offers

Rugby

'Good coin' for All Blacks captain Kieran Read in new two year deal with NZ Rugby Lions Tour: Zinzan Brooke says injury to Kieran Read would be huge scare for All Blacks Ripe to return to their roots: Rugby stars who could follow Kieran Read's lead Wallabies lock Dean Mumm to retire from all rugby at end of year Horowhenua sides make their mark in club rugby Piers Francis to start for Blues against Chiefs despite being knocked out last week NZ cities prepare for the dollars and excitement of another Lions Tour Springboks name Warren Whiteley captain for home series against France Ben Franks fourth former All Black confirmed for Barbarians squad to play England New Zealand-born rugby player Denny Solomona offers Manchester attack victims place to stay

A recent spate of injuries among teenage rugby players is just part of the sport, rugby organisers say.

On Sunday afternoon, Westpac Rescue Auckland responded to Whitianga for a teenage boy who had suffered a spinal injury due to a rugby tackle. He was transferred to Waikato Hospital in a moderate condition.

That same weekend two Palmerston North boys had to be airlifted to hospital after being injured during a first XV game.

Their injuries were not as serious as first feared, but they were playing at the same high school as Nathanael "Nat" Manville, who last month sustained a serious neck injury during a ruck.

After fracturing his fifth cervical vertebra, the 18-year-old was flown to Palmerston North Hospital before being transferred to Christchurch Hospital where he was waiting to be moved to Burwood Hospital's spinal unit. He is currently in the intensive care unit after having surgery on his neck.

Also last month, a 13-year-old boy suffered a serious spinal injury while playing rugby at Opunake High School, near New Plymouth.

But the New Zealand Rugby Foundation, which supports seriously injured players, says the number of injuries so far this season is no more or less than any other year.

There are 150,000 registered rugby players aged 5 to 64 playing 35 weekends a year, and every single injury is reported, chief executive Lisa Kingi said.

"Everyone absolutely errs on the side of caution. There's no room for any element of risk."

Kingi was in Christchurch today to visit Manville, who was "doing as well as he can be".

"Nat's accident happened three weekends ago - he wasn't the first this year and he certainly isn't going to be the last," she said.

Ten years ago most injuries would have been suffered in the scrum, but this year three wingers were seriously injured, and Manville was a lock.

"There's no rhyme or reason, it's just a contact sport."

The New Zealand Rugby Union said while one serious injury was one too many, they were seeing a "pleasing improvement".

General manager community and provincial union rugby Brent Anderson said the compulsory Rugby Smart programme for coaches taught safe rugby technique and was having a marked impact in terms of reducing serious injuries.

Ad Feedback

- Stuff

Special offers
Opinion poll

Who was the best-performed All Blacks forward on the northern tour?

Dane Coles

Nathan Harris

Keven Mealamu

Wyatt Crockett

Charlie Faumuina

Ben Franks

Owen Franks

Joe Moody

Brodie Retallick

Luke Romano

Jeremy Thrush

Patrick Tuipulotu

Sam Whitelock

Sam Cane

Jerome Kaino

Richie McCaw

Liam Messam

Kieran Read

Vitor Vito

Vote Result

Featured Promotions

Sponsored Content