Bangalow rugby rallies around injured player
By ADRIAN MILLER
THE Bangalow Rugby Union Club has vowed to rally around Richard Allan after he sustained a severe spinal injury on Saturday.
Allan was playing on the wing for Bangalow in their Far North Coast Village Competition first round clash against Byron Bay when he was injured in a seemingly innocuous tackle.
"He was just taking the ball up when he was tackled," club president Grant O'Neill said.
"It wasn't dangerous at all, he just landed badly."
Play stopped immediately after the tackle as players and officials rushed to Allan's assistance, before the Westpac Life Saver Rescue Helicopter was called to the scene.
Allan, who is married to Kylie and who has a young daughter, Chloe, was assessed and stabilised before he was transferred to the spinal unit of Brisbane's Princess Alexandra Hospital.
Yesterday a Hospital spokesperson said Allan was in a stable condition with 'fairly serious' injuries.
The Bangalow Rugby Club has already raced to Allan's aid, with a club meeting to discuss ways he could be helped held last night.
Club vice-president Mike Dowd said Allan, a 31-year-old landscaper, would be helped in whatever way possible.
"The doctors have indicated that it's very serious so we're holding the meeting to start some fundraising and to try and sort out what the family will need financially in the short and long term," he said.
"There's also going to be an injury counsellor from the Australian Rugby Union coming on Wednesday night to talk to the the club about what we can do."
ARU media manager Roger White said the organisation's thoughts were with Allan and his family.
"The ARU will see Richard when the family feels he's in the best position to take visitors," he said.
"It's a very unfortunate and tragic incident which we wished never happened in rugby, but sadly in a contact sport they sometimes do."
Allan, from New Zealand, moved to Bangalow five years ago before he made his debut for the Royals in 2003.
He has since played 43 games for the club and become a much-loved figure throughout the town.
"He's a character," Dowd said.
"He's got a typical New Zealand wit and he's always up the Aussies for their rugby.
"Richard's a great guy to have around. "He's well liked, he joins in everything that's going on and he likes to have a good time."
Saturday's match was abandoned after the incident.
If you wish to help assist Richard, contact Mike at the Bangalow Hotel on 66871314.