English rugby’s touching gesture to former Wallaby
FORMER Wallabies and Waratahs back Rob Horne's life changed in one tackle while playing for Northampton Saints.
The 28-year-old, who proved a versatile backline asset through his career, suffered career-ending nerve damage in his right shoulder after making a tackle against Saints' famous rival Leicester Tigers.
Horne suffered the Brachial Plexus injury just 13 seconds into the match, leaving him with full paralysis in his right shoulder and chronic pain.
Northampton and Leicester have agreed to move their East Midlands grudge match to Twickenham in order to raise funds for Horne and his family.
"Everyone at the club has gone above and beyond to support me and my family through an incredibly difficult time," Horne said in an interview with Northampton.
"I've been humbled by the outpouring of support from both Northampton Saints supporters and many of the Tigers fans that were at that game too.
"I am touched by the additional gesture the club are making in staging this game, and I can't wait to see my teammates run out at Twickenham.
"I hope we can raise some awareness for Brachial Plexus injuries, as well as being treated to another chapter in this storied rivalry."
Saints boss John White revealed both clubs' fans - despite their fierce rivalry - rallied together to move the match to the famous venue.
"The outpouring of support for Rob at the end of last season from the whole rugby community in the East Midlands was overwhelming - and we wanted to act," White said.
"The club received countless requests from both Saints and Tigers supporters for a fitting way in which they could both bid farewell to Rob and also support him.
"Leicester Tigers' chairman and board have also made it clear that they are very keen to help Rob in any way they can, and this is a superb way to do that."
Horne compiled 34 Tests for Australia and 101 games for the Waratahs before moving to the English Premiership.