Cardiff Blues full-back Rhun Williams has been forced to retire after failing to recover from the neck injury he sustained against Zebre two years ago.
The former Wales Under-20s ace suffered left sided peripheral nerve damage as he made a try-saving tackle in February 2018.
Williams has undertaken extensive rehabilitation at Cardiff Blues with regular expert assessments, however the 22-year-old has now been advised that this is a career ending injury at this time.
It's a massive collision for a young full-back on a sizeable flanker, but he does just enough to force the right foot onto the touchline before the offload and a certain try. Putting his body on the line to secure the win. pic.twitter.com/nOzZh0xjRq— Cardiff Rugby Life (@CardiffRugbyWeb) February 27, 2018
He said: “I’m obviously really disappointed to be given the news that I will be unable to return to rugby. I have done everything I can to get back but unfortunately that’s the specialist’s advice at this time.
“I’m very grateful for all the support I have had from everyone at Cardiff Blues during the last two years, but particularly the physios and medical department, Phil Davies from the WRPA and my teammates who have been superb.”
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.