Northampton Saints have announced the retirement of centre Rob Horne after injury.
After undergoing tests, leading neurological consultants from The Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital in 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.
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 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.