Head, shoulders, knees and toes – The most injury prone rugby players

It’s very frustrating. The following players are so talented and so enjoyable to watch, but sadly they’ve been blighted by injury.

They’ve won major honours, so this isn’t saying these rugbystars didn’t reach the top of their profession. It’s more of a wonder about the extra levels they could have reached.

Imagine Jonny Wilkinson wasn’t hampered by a dodgy shoulder from 2004 or Manu Tuilagi’s England career hadn’t stalled? That’s what we’re pondering here.

Which great players have been blighted by injury in your opinion?
Jonny Wilkinson

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2002: May – Suffers ankle ligament damage in Newcastle’s defeat by Gloucester,
ruling him out for the rest of the season.

2003: December 13 – Newcastle confirm Wilkinson has fractured a facet in his
shoulder – known as a ‘stinger’. Falcons predict an absence of two to three
weeks.
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December 28 – Suffers a recurrence of his shoulder injury and has to come off during Newcastle’s win over Northampton.

2004: February – Ruled out of Six Nations after shoulder operation.

October – Ruled out for up to six weeks with a haematoma in the upper right arm and has to stand down as England captain for autumn Tests.
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2005: January – Suffers knee ligament damage in Newcastle’s Heineken Cup defeat in Perpignan.
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March – Suffers medial ligament damage on Newcastle comeback against Harlequins.

July – Suffers shoulder injury in British and Irish Lions’ second Test defeat
in New Zealand and misses third match.

September – Ruled out of early season action after undergoing an appendix
operation.

2006: January – Suffers a torn adductor muscle.

September – Forced off with a knee ligament injury during Newcastle’s home game
against Worcester, effectively ending his hopes of playing in the autumn Test.

November – Makes comeback for Newcastle against Bristol but suffers kidney
damage and requires one month’s rest.

2007: September – Suffers fresh injury blow as a twisted ankle in training
rules him out of England World Cup opener against USA.

2008: May – Undergoes shoulder surgery which keeps him out of England’s summer
tour of New Zealand.
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September 30 – Suffers suspected knee ligament damage during Newcastle’s
Guinness Premiership defeat at Gloucester. He never played for the Falcons again.