Northampton Saints centre Rob Horne has been forced to retire from rugby as a result of severe nerve damage in his right arm.
The 28-year-old suffered the injury in last weekend’s Premiership clash with Leicester Tigers – and as a result, the former Australia international has been forced to called it a day after less than one season at Franklin’s Gardens.
In a statement released on Saturday morning, Saints confirmed the news along with the condolences of interim head coach Alan Dickens.
“This is absolutely tragic news, and has been devastating for every member of the squad and staff here.
“All our thoughts are of course with Rob and his family at this time.
“Rob is not only a world-class rugby player, but he’s an exceptional man. He is a hugely respected and popular member of the dressing room and this will be an enormous loss to Saints – both from a rugby and a personal perspective.
“Even though he had only been here for one season, I am sure he was destined to become a Club legend and, like everyone, I am deeply saddened that his career has been prematurely ended in this way.”
Horne arrived at the club last summer after spending almost ten years with Waratahs in his homeland. He was the Saints’ top scorer this season at the time of the injury, with eight tries in 21 games, and was named captain in what turned out to be his final professional rugby appearances.
Internationally, he made 34 appearances for the Wallabies since making his debut for the national side in 2010.