Northampton Saints have announced that Australian centre Rob Horne has been forced to retire from rugby aged 28.
Horne joined Northampton last summer from the Waratahs and quickly established himself as a fan favourite with a string of consistent performances.
But his career finished abruptly just 13 seconds into last week's Premiership victory over Leicester Tigers.
The Australian was captaining the Saints for the first time but was taken off almost as soon as the action got underway after attempting a tackle.
It has since been confirmed Horne suffered life-changing nerve damage to his right arm as a result of the challenge.
You can watch what happened in the video below. At first, the tackle attempt looks fairly innocuous, although some feared he had initially suffered a head injury.
Obviously, we now know that wasn't the case.
Northampton's interim head coach Alan Dickens said: "This is absolutely tragic news."
"It has been devastating for every member of the squad and staff here.
"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."
Horne picked up 34 caps for the Wallabies after making his debut eight years ago and was part of the squad to face the British and Irish Lions in 2013.
The shocking news is likely to also hit the Waratahs hard too as up until last year Horne had spent a decade with the Super Rugby side.
He had really hit the ground running at Franklin's Gardens and is the Saints' top try scorer so far this season with eight scores.
“Rob has been the ultimate professional in his time at Franklin’s Gardens, and shone on the pitch in what has been a difficult season for Saints,” Northampton's CEO Mark Darbon added.
“This news has shaken everyone at the Club, and I’m sure all of our supporters will join us in sending our best wishes to Rob, his wife Simone and their two young children.
“Rob will always be a part of the Saints family and we will, of course, do everything we can to help him through his rehabilitation and transition in to the next stage of his life.
“On behalf of the Club I would like to thank all the medical staff who have helped Rob so far, in particular the diligence and professionalism shown by the Saints and Tigers medical teams, who reacted quickly and could not have done more for him from the moment his injury was sustained.
“Rob has asked me to pass on his deepest gratitude for all of the messages of support he and his family have received, but would now like everyone to respect his privacy while they deal with this news.”
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