Samoa international Henry Stowers suffered a horrible head knock while paying for Canterbury on Friday which left the international forward lying motionless on the ground.
The 110kg number eight carried hard from the back field but charged head first towards the Otago defence during a National Provincial Championship game at Forsyth Barr stadium in Dunedin.
Stowers clattered straight into Otago forwards Josh Hohneck and Josh Dickson in midfield and after the tackle was complete the backrower was left static on the ground suffering from a clear knockout.
It appears that Stowers took a knock to the back of his head from a knee of one of the Otago players which turned out his lights immediately.
The referee was forced to blow his whistle and called for the physios to attend Stowers while the commentators questioned the body position of the big man as he carried into contact.
“He goes head first into the tackle, which is not advisable, and I hope he’s OK, I really do,” said the commentator. But it just shows the danger of going straight down low (into contact).”
A recent story broke on the BBC this week about the chief of head injury body Drake Foundation saying that urgent action must happen to prevent young players quitting the sport.
“We are concerned about brain health risk, and so are parents and amateur players,” said the Drake Foundation’s chief executive Lauren Pulling.
“Without urgent action, we could see players drop out at all levels…in the modern game players are generally bigger, stronger and faster so there is more force on the brain in head impacts.”
Although Canterbury led 17-10 at half time, it was the home side who responded to win the game 22-20 after four consecutive penalties by fly half Josh Ioane.
Stowers, 26, has two Samoa caps to his name and was recently announced as one of Moana Pasifika’s latest signings for the next Super Rugby season having represented the Western Force since joining the franchise in 2018.
That win was Otago’s third from six games in the competition while Wellington has also taken three victories but from one extra match.