We care, advocate for and champion the safety of all the players in the game we love.

OUR SERIOUSLY INJURED PLAYERS.

The mana of our Seriously Injured Players is what drives the Foundation and our partners to provide unequivocal lifetime support.

Since our establishment in 1986 we have partnered with more than 112 seriously injured players, half of whom were injured prior to the ground-breaking All-Player Insurance Policy being established in 1998 -and we continue to support three seriously injured players since 1974 – prior to ACC even being established

Their stories fuel our passion to understand their needs and strive for their continued well-being.

We have a duty of care to all seriously injured players and are committed to working in partnership with them for the duration of their lives. No matter what their need or where their journeys may take them, we are there.


On 30 March 1999, while playing in a preseason friendly match between my high school and another Invercargill high school, I dislocated my neck between cervical vertebrae 4 and 5; this left me completely paralysed below the neck.

It was the last game of the season, the fittest I had ever been when I suffered a Spinal Injury in the scrum whilst playing for the Kaikorai R F C Senior team.  The day Otago beat Australia – 5thAugust, 1972. 

2009 was going to our year. Bryce had secured his first teaching job since returning from the UK, we had just brought our first home in Te Kauwhata and I was 38 weeks pregnant with our first baby.

On 12 August 1973 I broke my neck playing for Waihi Athletic Club in Waihi. I became a tetraplegic with a break level at C5/6 making me paralyzed from just above the nipple line and partly in my arms and hands.

They talked me into joining so I switched from Soccer back to Rugby and trained for three months. I had just started working at the local freezing works when on March the 16th 1980, I broke my neck whilst playing a trials match, at Johnson’s Park in Fielding.

On June 11 2011 Cody sustained a C6 ASIA B Spinal cord injury whilst playing for his Shirley Boys High rugby side. He recieved anterior fusion and bone grafting to stabilise his neck and rehabilitated at the Burwood Spinal Unit for a six month period.

In 1999 my life went down a different path than I had in mind, when, as an 18 year old first year Otago Uni student, I ended up putting my head in the wrong place in a scrum during a game of club footy.

Dayna already received art and music lessons as a child. Later, at boarding school, he chose Art as one of his examination subjects. In April 2000, at the age of 27, he broke his neck while playing rugby.

At the age of 18, I was young, strong and fit; my goal in life was to play professional rugby for New Zealand but on a Saturday afternoon in 1995 that dream came to a crashing halt when I fractured my neck in a rugby game. My injury is C4/5 incomplete and it changed my life in a split second.

Hi.  My name is Geoff Cochrane and I’m now a C5/C6 tetraplegic as a result of a collapsed scrum in a game held in Taumarunui in April 1983.

My accident happened at school in 1977. I was 15½ and it was an inter-house game, not even an inter-school game - some of those games were fiercer than the inter-school games.

My injury has left me with little movement in my left side, unable to walk and short term memory loss. I have Care Givers 24/7 who attend to me and give me excellent care. I have not lost my long term memory or my sense of humour but naturally I do get frustrated and depressed at times as I would like to see more of my four children.

The best way to keep your mind and body happy is to keep busy, after spending 4 months on bed rest this year I decided to write a book to keep focused. Its finished but Im not sure what to do with it although if its never read at least it gave me a focus and filled in the blank time.

Kendall Akhurst was 23 years old playing for his Avalon club rugby side when his injury occurred. He was tackled and rolled forward as his neck twisted resulting in an incomplete fracture at C5/6.

My hobbies are rugby, painting, and fishing which I can still participate in, with the adaptation of an electric fishing reel, I also enjoy the odd game of Crib, Euchre or Backgammon on the computer. 

I believe I have been a responsible consumer but I believe I can do better as I have dreams, I want to work and achieve many goals as there is much to learn and time to give. Readers, I cannot achieve these aims without your help!

 The NZ Rugby Foundation have been instrumental in getting my life back on track since a rugby accident that left me paralysed in 2007 in Dunedin. I basically didn’t have my head in the right position and it ended up making front on contact with the attacking players hip. The result was C7 tetraplegia.

Boyd was the last person you'd expect to turn all serious, but that day he left the jokes at the door. Pulling a chair up to Nick's bed, he steadied himself and then did for his friend what only a best friend would do. He offered to kill him.

 After spending the following 5.5 months in the Otara Spinal Unit, Neil went back to school to finish his secondary studies and later on to University to achieve a Bachelor in Technology majoring in product development.

On the 26th June 2010 one tackle changed my life. A brachial plexus injury playing rugby which in short, paralysed my left arm. After a major 11 hour operation....

Nui was in his third season for the Hawkes Bay Magpies when he sustained two dislocated cervical vertebrae when a maul collapsed during the final quarter of the Magpies 45-0 loss to Canterbury on July 28.

Peter was playing rugby when the scrum collapsed and he took the force. He suffered a C4/C5 spinal fracture and life changed forever. Peter was paralysed from the neck down. There was no ACC back then.

I went back to school the following year and then went on to Victoria University in Wellington where I got a BS c. (Hons) in computer science. I have been in fulltime work since 1988. I was married until recently and had five stepchildren, four step grandchildren and have my only son Matthew from that relationship.

In the early eighties I was approached by a friend from school who worked for CCS, to see if I’d be interested in joining the Local CCS Committee. In those days we pretty much ran our local branch. Being a sucker for a pretty face I agreed. To this day I’m still involved and currently I’m the chairman of the Local Advisory Committee of North Taranaki CCS Disability Action.

I returned to New Zealand for Christmas of 1995 and some 3 months later I played my first game back with my old club. Unfortunately, it was also to be my last.  It took only a split second as we engaged for the first scrum of the game; one prop pulled out, I thought I could still make it so I ducked my head.  Wrong decision.

The Rugby Foundation has helped me immensely with continuing my passion for wheelchair rugby as it is an expensive sport to participate in. They have paid for a number of rugby chairs for me and without their assistance I would not be doing what I am today.

I have lived and worked on farms all my life, mostly in a small village community in north Wairarapa and a 5yr stint shepherding up in the hills in Gisborne. I have always been keen on hunting which I found also kept me reasonably fit for rugby, another favorite pastime, having been playing since I was about 5 yrs old.

 I knew I was in trouble as soon as I hit the ground. Nothing I could say or describe would do the rehab and adjustment period justice, unless you have been through it’s hard to understand what people go through.

I am talking with NZRF about future building of a new house, a Project to research, map and document Rail Trails and tracks for hand cycles and chairs along with a possible business opportunity.  Their support of organisations like wheelchair rugby has helped me indirectly.

It hurt — a lot — but in the excitement of the occasion, and bearing in mind all the people there to support him, Scott managed to play on, ignoring the pain. It was a few days before he realised something was seriously wrong.

The Wellingtonian was left paralysed in June 2012 after suffering a spinal injury while playing his second-to-last game for Sydney club Northern Suburbs. The timing of Seti's accident was further enhanced by the fact he was booked on a one way flight back to Aotearoa a few weeks afterward.​​​​​​​

In April 2013 I had great success at the NZ Club road nationals in Queenstown winning the 14km Time Trial and second in the road race. Without the financial assistance of the NZ Rugby Foundation I would never have been able to have the opportunity to chase my dream, thank you so much guys!

I remember thinking %$#@ I am in the wrong position, then the pain shooting me in the neck like someone was stabbing me with a hot poker, I couldn’t breathe, over a hour later I was loaded up in a helicopter. The next 4 or 5 days were a blur, when I did come coherent, I was told that I had dislocated my neck and was left a C4-5 Tetraplegic and would never walk again.

Anyone who’s been in this situation can recall their exact event, that precise moment when their lives changed forever, a noise like a dry stick snapping; the sound of their neck breaking. Mine was Saturday June 21st 2003 1.05pm.