Five of the Most Eye-Watering Injuries in Rugby League

Brett Hodgson’s Challenge Cup display against Huddersfield was jaw-droppingly good.

At just over 12 stone, Warrington’s wiry full-back is one of the lightest men in Super League.

But he brushed off three medics to set up Joel Monaghan’s try just before half-time, just as he had recovered from Kylie Leuluai’s monstrous hit in last year’s Wembley final.

It got us thinking… who else has shown unbelievable toughness on the rugby league pitch? We’ve restricted our choices to British-based players in the summer era, but we’re sure you could throw a few more in our direction.

 

Andy Farrell

Remember the Wigan captain breaking his nose against Leeds in June 2004?

He returned to the action with a huge bandage wrapped around his face and steered the Warriors to a 26-22 win despite looking like a gruesome extra on some low-budget horror flick.

Four months later he won the Man of Steel for the second time, insisting: “It looked worse than it was. Every player plays with injuries.”

 

Paul Wood

Apologies to all men currently sat cross-legged.

Just the mention of Wood now guarantees winces from the male population after Warrington’s prop ruptured his testicle during the 2012 Grand Final.

He even conducted a post-match interview with the BBC’s Ray French without mentioning a thing before dashing off to hospital.

“It swelled up to the size of a tennis ball,” said Wood. Ouch.

 

Jamie Ainscough

The Australian centre tackled Martin Gleeson in a Wigan-Saints derby and got more than he bargained for – an extra tooth.

One of Gleeson’s teeth got embedded in Ainscough’s arm, and medics stitched Ainscough’s wound without realising what had happened.

Only an x-ray, after Ainscough’s arm had refused to heal, uncovered the grisly truth. At one stage it even looked like Ainscough might lose his arm.

 

Shane Millard

Another bloke who came home with something extra, Millard collided with Castleford’s Dean Ripley in 2004 and was left with a gash in his head.

Stitched up at half time and sent back out to play, it was only later that doctors put two and two together when they heard of Ripley’s missing tooth.

“They took x-rays of the wound and said there was definitely something lodged in there,” said Millard.

“I was given a local anaesthetic and then they blasted a tooth out with three packs of saline solution. The tooth came out just as the anaesthetic was wearing off.”

 

Ben Jones-Bishop

The Leeds winger was playing for Harlequins at the DW Stadium when he clashed heads with Lee Mossop. “I didn’t think anything of it and I played on for the 25 minutes to half-time,” said Jones-Bishop.

It was only then, after complaining of a headache, did the doctors spot what had really happened: he had fractured his skull.

Brian McDermott revealed in the post-match press conference that Jones-Bishop had played on “with a hole in his head”. Like you do.

 

Honourable mentions to Richie Mathers (ruptured testicle), Jon Wilkin (broken nose in the 2006 Challenge Cup final) and Kris Radlinski (for his efforts with an infected foot in the 2002 Challenge Cup final).

Who else have we missed?

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