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5 rugby players whose careers ended prematurely due to horrific injuries

WARNING: This article is not for the faint-hearted or for those who have just had their lunch. 

Rugby, by virtue of being a contact sport, has seen its fair share of horrific injuries

Most players are able to come back from their dark days and forge a successful career. But there are some players who weren’t quite so lucky.

Spare a thought for the five players listed below. These players suffered injuries that derailed and destroyed their career, ensuring a premature end to their rugby playing days.


1) Rob Horne 

The 28-year-old, who suffered several serious arm injuries at elite level, was forced to retire after sustaining nerve damage in his right arm when playing for Northampton Saints against Leicester Tigers in the English Premiership in early 2018.

Horne’s retirement was “absolutely tragic news”, Northampton interim head coach Alan Dickens said.

The 28-year-old revealed earlier this year that he has full paralysis of his right arm and is in chronic pain after detaching nerves from his spinal cord. The father of two was playing for his English club Northampton against Leicester when the injury occurred.

A hard-running outside centre capped 34 times for Australia, Horne was leading try-scorer for the Saints with eight this season and led the team as stand-in captain for the first time against the Tigers.



Before crossing to the Saints, Horne enjoyed a successful 10-year stint with Sydney’s New South Wales Waratahs and was a member of the 2014 team that captured a maiden Super Rugby title under the guidance of Michael Cheika, the current Wallabies boss.

Horne represented Australia at the 2011 and 2015 World Cups, and played against the British and Irish Lions in 2013.

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