Rugby union: Prop's `serious' injury

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The Independent Online
EDINBURGH REIVERS were today anxiously awaiting news of their Scotland international prop Matt Proudfoot, who spent last night in hospital with what appeared to be a serious neck injury.

He suffered the blow in an off-the-ball incident during yesterday's narrow 29-25 defeat at the hands of European Cup opponents Toulouse. The Edinburgh Reivers coach, Ian Rankin, said: "It is obviously very worrying, as he didn't have a lot of feeling down one side when he went away."

The Reivers will now study TV footage of the incident before deciding whether to cite the French player involved. Proudfoot was last night transferred from the Edinburgh Royal Infirmary to the neurosurgical unit of the Western General in the capital where he was detained overnight for observation. The Reivers team manager, Nick Oswald, confirmed he had suffered a neck injury, but that the extent of the problem remained unclear.

Meanwhile, Rankin admitted that a failure to profit fully from an inspired first half-display had cost his side a shock European Cup win over French giants Toulouse.

The Scottish super district led 22-3 at one stage courtesy of four fine tries, but the wayward kicking of stand-off Craig Chalmers - who could only manage two kicks from eight attempts - let the 1996 winners off the hook to record a narrow 29-25 victory.

"I said at half time the missed kicks might come back to haunt us," said Rankin. Despite the reverse, Rankin said his side could take great heart from a display that leaves them now needing realistically to beat Ebbw Vale and Ulster to qualify alongside the French.