A rugby player from the Emus club has been flown to Sydney for surgery after suffering a severe spinal injury in Saturday's Blowes Clothing Cup second grade fixture.
NSW Ambulance sent two crews to Endeavour Oval at around 2.30pm on Saturday, April 23, after play was stopped in the Emus and Bathurst Bulldogs second grade game due to an injury.
It's believed the player was short of breath and suffering neck pain following a tackle.
The player was transported to Orange Hospital, where he arrived at around 3.30pm, before being flown to Royal North Shore Hospital on Saturday night.
In a statement issued by the Emus club it said the player had surgery and is now recovering in Sydney.
"At this stage, the full extent and impact of his injury is not completely clear, but we want to assure all that he is in the safest of hands of the amazing health staff," the statement read.
"We will be respecting the privacy of the player and his family, and anyone else impacted.
"As a club will provide any and all support we can. For now, please join us in sending all your positivity and best wishes to the player and his family, during a very challenging period."
Tragically, it's the second serious spinal injury across the Central West Rugby Union so far this season. On April 9, Boorowa player Nathan Stapleton suffered a significant injury during the second half of the Goldies' season opener against West Wyalong.
Mr Stapleton's spinal cord was damaged at the C4 level of his cervical vertebrae, rendering him a quadriplegic, paralysed from the shoulders down.
Mr Stapleton played NRL with both Cronulla and the Sydney Roosters and his accident has caught the attention of the both rugby league clubs, with the Sharks' Anzac Day jerseys, worn during Thursday night's win over Manly, being auctioned off to contribute to a GoFundMe effort that's so far raised over $90,000 for the Stapleton family.
"Anyone who knows Nathan can attest to his determination and incredible work ethic ... there is no doubt that Nathan will bring that same determination and commitment to his rehab and recovery. There is no limit to what Nathan can achieve," the family's GoFundMe page says.
Many clubs across the Central West on Saturday helped raise funds for the Stapletons by having donation buckets at grounds, too.
"(Mr Stapleton's) road to recovery is long and expensive and we ask you to support Nathan and his family in their time of need," the Central West Rugby Union added in a post to social media.
Our journalists work hard to provide local, up-to-date news to the community. This is how you can continue to access our trusted content:
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.