Wainwright helps ill fan

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The Independent Online
ROB WAINWRIGHT, the West Hartlepool No 8 who is an army doctor, joined a desperate attempt to save the life of a spectator who collapsed during yesterday's Courage League One match between Wasps and West Hartlepool at Repton Avenue.

Wainwright, the new Scotland captain, worked on the ailing fan with West Hartlepool's physio, Nick Matthews, and a paramedic after the referee Chris Harrison stopped play with 12 minutes of the game left and Wasps leading 24-16. The teams went off and the game was abandoned 30 minutes later.

Wainwright, a 30-year-old back row forward capped 17 times, said: "I heard that someone had suffered a heart attack so I went straight up to the stand to see if I could help. There were a few doctors and paramedics there and I really just played a peripheral role. Our physio, Nick Matthews, did a great job on the resuscitation of the chap."

A middle-aged man, understood to be a Wasps supporter, is believed to have suffered a heart attack shortly after Wasps had scored a try. The medics made valiant attempts to save the man, who was taken by ambulance to a nearby hospital.

West Hartlepool fully supported the decision to abandon the match as the incident evoked memories of a tragedy on the field in 1992, when their lock forward John Howe died following a massive heart attack.

For the record, Wasps had scored four tries, two by Shane Roiser, one by Damian Hopley and the other a penalty try. Guy Gregory kicked two conversions. West scored twice through Paul Hodder and Tim Stimpson, who also kicked two penalties.

Bristol's Welsh fly-half Arwel Thomas scored 23 points in a virtuoso display in his side's 33-14 victory over Orrell at the Memorial Ground, and in the tour match, another Welsh international, outside-half Neil Jenkins, kicked 16 points to steer Pontypridd to a 31-13 victory over Fiji. They out-scored the tourists by three tries to two thanks to a last- minute try from the centre Steele Lewis. A third tour defeat by a club side was not what Fiji needed. Wales on Saturday. They have only one more match before playing Wales on Saturday in which to get their game together and that is on Tuesday against Llanelli, who top the Heineken League at least until Cardiff play Aberavon today.

That match marks the debut of Jonathan Davies for Cardiff after his return from rugby league. Adrian Hadley quite fancies the idea of returning to Cardiff and playing alongside Davies. The 32-year-old is hoping to find an escape clause in his contract with Widnes, the rugby league club possibly wanting pounds 35,000 in compensation.

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