In a shock announcement, Northampton Saints confirmed today that Rob Horne’s injury has forced him to leave the game for good.
The revelation caused shock and sadness across the rugby family, as the 28-year-old had just received his first captaincy before the injury at Welford Road.
Saints’ full statement says: “It is with great sadness that Northampton Saints can today confirm that due to an injury sustained in the Club’s fixture against Leicester Tigers, centre Rob Horne has been forced to retire from rugby.
After undergoing tests, leading neurological consultants from The Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital (Stanmore) confirmed that Horne has suffered career-ending nerve damage to his right arm.
“This is absolutely tragic news, and has been devastating for every member of the squad and staff here,” said interim head coach Alan Dickens.
“All our thoughts are of course with Rob and his family at this time.
“Rob is not only a world-class rugby player, but he’s an exceptional man. He is a hugely respected and popular member of the dressing room and this will be an enormous loss to Saints – both from a rugby and a personal perspective.
“Even though he had only been here for one season, I am sure he was destined to become a Club legend and, like everyone, I am deeply saddened that his career has been prematurely ended in this way.”
Horne arrived at Franklin’s Gardens last summer after 10 seasons with the Waratahs, where he played in a Super 14 final at the age of just 18 before claiming the Super Rugby title in 2014.The hard-hitting outside centre won 34 caps for the Wallabies, representing Australia in two Rugby World Cups and against the British & Irish Lions in 2013.
The 28-year-old made 21 appearances in the Black, Green and Gold jersey of Saints, scoring eight tries to make him this season’s top-scorer, and led out Northampton against Tigers at Welford Road last weekend for the first time as stand-in skipper.
“Rob has been the ultimate professional in his time at Franklin’s Gardens, and shone on the pitch in what has been a difficult season for Saints,” commented Saints CEO Mark Darbon.
“This news has shaken everyone at the Club, and I’m sure all of our supporters will join us in sending our best wishes to Rob, his wife Simone and their two young children.
“Rob will always be a part of the Saints family and we will, of course, do everything we can to help him through his rehabilitation and transition in to the next stage of his life.
“On behalf of the Club I would like to thank all the medical staff who have helped Rob so far, in particular the diligence and professionalism shown by the Saints and Tigers medical teams, who reacted quickly and could not have done more for him from the moment his injury was sustained.
“Rob has asked me to pass on his deepest gratitude for all of the messages of support he and his family have received, but would now like everyone to respect his privacy while they deal with this news.”