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Ali Kasim
Sunday, Jun 29, 2014

Sports

Welsh rugby player here landed on his head during tackle

The New Paper | Ali Kasim | Sunday, Jun 29, 2014

Cardiff Blues' Centre Owen Williams runs with the ball.

Welsh rugby player suffers 'significant injury' to spinal cord at National Stadium

He was stretchered off for a neck injury during the inaugural World Club 10s rugby tournament at the National Stadium last weekend.

Now his rugby club, Cardiff Blues, have revealed that Wales centre Owen Williams has suffered a "significant injury" to his cervical vertebrae and spinal cord.

Williams, 22, was stretchered off during the first-half of the Welsh side's third-and-fourth place play-off against the Asia Pacific Dragons on Sunday, which the latter won 26-17.

He underwent surgery on Monday to stabilise a fracture, and is recovering in a hospital in Singapore. He is joined by Blues officials and his family, who arrived on Tuesday.

In a statement posted on their official website, the Blues said: "Cardiff Blues and the Williams family would like to thank the many hundreds of well-wishers who have offered messages of support.

"Cardiff Blues will be making no further comment, but will continue to share further updates when they are available.

"We would also ask that the privacy of Owen Williams and his family is respected at this time."

The New Paper understands that arrangements are being made to co-ordinate the player's transfer home, once his condition is stable.

On his Twitter account, Wales captain and Blues clubmate Sam Warburton described the mood at the club in Cardiff as "devastated".

The injury parallels one suffered by former England Under-21s prop Matt Hampson in 2005. Hampson was subsequently paralysed from the neck down following an accident during a training session.

Halted

The 20-minute game between the Blues and the Dragons at the new National Stadium was halted for a few minutes as medics tended to Williams, who fell on his head during a tackle.

He was rushed to hospital from the stadium.

Singapore Rugby Union (SRU) president Low Teo Ping said: "SRU are on standby to provide any support to both the player and his family.

"At this time, however, we want to give the player's family as much space as they require."

Williams, who has won four caps for Wales, had only just returned to action following an injury-plagued season where he played only nine games for the Blues due to hamstring problems.


This article was first published on JUNE 27, 2014.
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