Rugby League

‘10/10 chronic pain’: Paralysed Wallaby confronts new reality

PARALYSED former Wallaby Rob Horne has revealed the extent of his challenging new reality, saying he is living with “level 10/10 chronic pain” after suffering a freak, career ending injury while playing for Northampton.

Horne, 29, collapsed on field after making a routine tackle in his debut as Northampton captain against Leicester in April.

Subsequent surgery revealed he had damaged his brachial plexus (network of nerves that conduct signals from the spine to the shoulder, arm and hand) so badly that all five nerves separated from his spinal cord, rendering him with full limb paralysis in his right arm.

“I have lived with a level 10/10 chronic pain since the day of my injury,” said Horne, who is now back in Australia and headlining a national chronic pain roadshow to raise awareness and support for those in similar situations.


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Rob Horne and George Gregan at the wheelchair rugby at the Invictus Games in Sydney.Source:Getty Images

“But the way I manage and deal with my pain has changed dramatically in the past six months.

“With most nerve injuries, there’s constant, chronic pain, but you find ways to deal with that.

“Part of the process has been speaking with people who have sustained the same injury, both from within, and external to sport.

“Sharing common experiences is a way of moving forward, which is why I’m honoured to be the national ambassador for the ‘taking back control of my chronic pain’ roadshow.”

Horne, a tough tackling centre who played 34 Tests for Australia, was involved in the Invictus Games in Sydney as well as taking on the role of ambassador with the Australian Pain Management Association.

More than 20 per cent of Australians are living with chronic pain, according to the association.

— To register for your local event or learn more, head to or call 1800 759 565

Rob Horne of the Wallabies fends off Angelo Esposito of Italy at Suncorp Stadium.Source:AAP

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Originally published as ‘10/10 chronic pain’: Paralysed Wallaby confronts new reality

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