Paralysis Fears For Wales & Cardiff Blues Centre Owen Williams

Cardiff Blues have confirmed the 22-year-old damaged his cervical vertebrae and spinal cord. He underwent surgery on Monday to stabilise a fracture following a tackle during the World Club 10s.

Williams remains in hospital in Singapore, where he has been joined by his family, while arrangements are made to co-ordinate his transfer home.

He was regarded as one of the most promising players in Wales following his Test debut last year. News of his plight has prompted messages of support from around the world.

Brother Gavin, a WRU participation officer, said: “So emotional reading all the support. It’s overwhelming. In the hospital next to my brother, he’s a warrior.”

Williams  is the first rugby international to suffer such a serious injury during a match.

He landed heavily on his head after being dragged to the ground during a match against Asia Pacific Dragons.

A WRU spokesman said: “The heartfelt sentiments of everyone at the Welsh Rugby Union are with Owen and his family at this time.”

The injury has parallels with that suffered by former England Under-21s prop Matt Hampson, paralysed from the neck down following an accident during an England training session in 2005.

Hampson set up a foundation to help others who suffer similar injuries through sport and has already offered help to Williams.

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