Two boys airlifted to hospital

One boy was flown by rescue helicopter to Christchurch Hospital with a suspected major neck injury and another was flown to Dunedin Hospital with a suspected head injury, during a junior seven-a-side rugby match in Lawrence on Saturday.

The South West Seven A Side Rugby Tournament was hosted by the Lawrence Rugby Football Club at Simpson Park.

Lawrence president Bryce Rishworth said the boys were injured in two separate incidents during an under-11 age-group game.

"They were just playing rugby.

"One stayed down in the middle of a ruck.

He was cleaned out of a ruck in the normal old fashion that you get cleaned out of the middle of a ruck.

"His neck got bent the wrong way."

He said the game was shifted to another field while medical staff worked on what they thought was "quite a major neck injury".

Then within about two minutes of the game resuming, another boy went down following a knock to the head.

He said organisers of the tournament were not aware the boy had a history of concussions before the game started.

It was only after he went down that he told a nurse he had had about six or seven concussions before, from playground incidents.

"He told the nurse he was good to get up and go at the time, but because of his history, and being a kid, they wanted to take him to Dunedin Hospital to get him cleared."

A St John spokeswoman said the Otago Regional Rescue Helicopter took the boy to Dunedin Hospital in a moderate condition, and the boy with the suspected neck injury was taken to Christchurch Hospital in a serious condition.

However, Mr Rishworth said both were cleared of any serious injuries yesterday.

"They’ve both gone home. It was more precautionary because they’re kids."

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