Welsh back Morgan Stoddart will not be going to the World Cup following a severe leg injury he suffered on the weekend. If any positive can be found in such a horrible incident, it was the way that the players around him reacted.
Stoddart broke his leg in two places as he was tackled by Delon Armitage during England’s win at Twickenham on Saturday. While there were no replays shown at the time, and we’ve chosen not to include one here, the way that Danny Care in particular reacted should be commended.
You can see in the clip that England had good turnover ball, and while Care had the option to fling it out and only then attempt to get hold of medics to help Stoddart, he instead alerted referee Steve Walsh to the situation immediately, and chose not to make the pass. It was a small gesture, but a genuine mark of true sportsmanship that should not go unnoticed.
Wales’ Jamie Roberts, another class act, clearly appreciated it as he tweeted after the game “Great sportsmanship from Danny Care, great to see.”
Care, being the good man he is, played down the incident, saying “Anybody would have stopped the play.” He added “It’s such a sad way to get injured but thats the sport we are in.”
Roberts went on to say that they will be playing for Stoddart this coming weekend, as they were all affected by what happened and are devastated for the Scarlets flyer.
“Losing to England is always heartbreaking but the biggest thing for me, and Im sure I speak on behalf of all of the players, is Morgan Stoddart breaking his leg. People talk about these games and staying injury-free but unfortunately for Morgan hes certainly pulled the short straw.
“It is bitter-sweet for him as he was playing well and looked very sharp,” he added.
At this time of year, it’s inevitable that players will get injured in the lead up to the World Cup. Stoddart looks to be the first unfortunately casualty, a side-effect of playing the game.
“It’s the harsh reality, players have got to play, going to a World Cup. The medics do everything they can to keep them in one piece. It’s not nice to see something like that,” said Martin Johnson.
Stoddart’s subsequent operation was successful, and he will return home to the Scarlets to begin a rehabilitation program, with his time out of the game uncertain at this stage.
The video below shows both the injury in real time, and the way that Care handled the incident. If you’d like to leave a message of support for Morgan as a comment below, I’m sure we can make a plan for him to read them at some stage.