Neck injury ends Darwin's career

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The Independent Online

The Australia prop Ben Darwin said yesterday that the neck injury he suffered in the Wallabies' World Cup semi-final victory against New Zealand on 15 November has forced him to retire.

Darwin, 27, was caught in a collapsed scrum early in the second half at Telstra Stadium and lost all feeling from the neck down for three minutes. A prolapsed disc was diagnosed as having touched his spinal cord, sending it into shock. Darwin said: "Upon review of my injury the doctors have decided that it is necessary for me to retire from rugby." Darwin, who made his Australia debut against the Lions in 2001, won 28 caps and featured in the Wallabies' Bledisloe Cup wins of 2001 and 2002. "As a 15-year-old, I dreamed of playing for my country," he said. "Having achieved this goal I can retire knowing I have made the young man in me happy."

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