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Tuesday, 07 July 2015

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Ulverston teenage RL player airlifted from pitch

A TEENAGE rugby player was airlifted to hospital after suffering a freak injury.

Craig Ripley, aged 18, suffered a double-break to bones in his leg during Ulverston’s game against St Helens Wildboar on Saturday.

Mr Ripley, playing just his second season of open age rugby league, had gathered a kick downfield when he was tackled, breaking both his tibia and fibula.

Referee, Rob McAloone, halted the game immediately and an ambulance was called but due to the uneven surface at Dragley Beck paramedics called the North West Air Ambulance.

Spectators gave Mr Ripley a round of applause as he was stretchered from the pitch which he saluted with a thumbs-up as he was carried to the air ambulance before being flown to Furness General Hospital.

Mr Ripley underwent surgery on Saturday evening when surgeons fitted a plate to help the injury heal, but the injury is expected to rule him out for the rest of the season.

Gareth Jones, head coach at Ulverston Amateur Rugby League, said: “It was a bit of an innocuous tackle, the ambulance came and said it was unsafe to move him because of the uneven surface.

“He’s gutted but in fairly good spirits considering what happened. The hospital told him it will be healed in about six months.

“Hopefully, he will be out of hospital today.”

When the game resumed the club went on to win 34 – 32.

Nigel Atkinson, club chairman, said: “It was a total freak break.

“He had the ball and as he stepped from one foot he got tackled, he stayed down and I knew it must have been a bad one.

“It’s not like him, as he’s a tough little player.

“It’s a blow to lose any player but when someone breaks a bone like that it’s not nice at all.

“I’d like to pass on my best wishes and from the lads on behalf of the club, we wish Craig all the best.”

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