The tragic incident of Rob Horne’s career ending injury

Former Wallabies utility back Rob Horne was forced to retire from the game of rugby after he suffered an unfortunate injury to his right arm while making his debut as Saints captain against the Tigers at Welford Road.


The former Wallaby had since moved on to Northampton Saints were he was making his mark at Franklin’s garden in the green of Northampton before he was forced to retire.


Rob Horne is learning to live with the chronic pain caused by the paralysed right arm that forced him to retire from the game – surgery had revealed that he had ripped from his spinal cord the clutch of five nerves that control his shoulder, arm and hand; all five nerves servicing the arm had been detached from his spinal cord. He underwent a nerve transfer from his ribs into his triceps, this was essentially to reduce some of the pain.


Rob had taken a big hit from Tigers No. 8 Sione Kalamafoni in the opening seconds of Northampton’s Premiership clash with Leicester. He wanted to get up and go again but couldn’t move his limbs – He wanted to get up and go again, he couldn’t understand why Lee and others were hovering over him, little did he know that this would be his last rugby moment as a player.


Horne said, “As a result of that I’ve got full paralysis of my right arm and currently with chronic pain.”

Horne was speaking for the first time about the moment that cut short an enviable career. The back played for the Waratahs for 10 years and had 34 Tests for the Wallabies.

He will be honoured in Saturday’s east midlands derby between Northampton and Leicester at Twickenham where he will deliver the match ball in front of a crowd of 40,000.

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