Teignmouth teen rugby international suffers fractured neck in college match
A YOUTH international rugby player from Teignmouth is recovering in hospital after suffering three fractures to his neck during a game.
Jack Bond, who was 17 last week, was playing for Ivybridge College against the London Irish Academy side when he was injured.
Jack, who played for England at Under-16 level last season, was hurt when a player fell on top of him.
After receiving emergency treatment in London, Jack was transferred back to the Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital over the weekend to be closer to mum and dad Colin and Lorraine while he recovers.
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Jack, who plays his club rugby for Torquay Athletic and attended Torquay Boys' Grammar School until July, has had his sights set on a career in the game.
He was offered a place at Ivybridge College this term which, as part of Exeter Chiefs' academy network, is seen as a stepping stone into the professional game.
Kevin Davies, who was Jack's coach at Torquay Athletic, said all thoughts of a career in the game are on hold for now.
"Jack isn't paralysed – it is not that sort of injury – but at this stage it is impossible to say whether he will be able to play rugby again," said Mr Davies, who was speaking on behalf of Mr and Mrs Bond.
"Jack suffered three fractures and has already had an operation using parts of his hip bone to graft the breaks together.
"There is a long way to go on the rehabilitation process and like any journey there are going to be ups and downs.
"Since Jack was hurt the family have had many kind words and messages from numerous sources and appreciate them all."
Malcolm Collins, the deputy principal at Ivybridge College and a former first class rugby player with Exeter, Cornwall and Devon, was among the first to send his good wishes to the Bond family.
"Jack is a smashing lad and we are all hoping he makes a full recovery," said Mr Collins.
"I know he hopes to be a professional player one day and you never know that might still happen.
"Matt Lane, who was with us, had a similar thing happen to him when he was with us while playing for Plymouth Albion and he is still playing the game."
Ben Passenger, the head of PE at Torquay Boys' Grammar School and a former Torquay Athletic captain, also wished Jack a speedy recovery.
"The best wishes of all Jack's old friends at the school go out to him."
Bond started out with Teignmouth RFC before moving to Torquay at Under-13 level.
He was talent spotted by England last season and played in B internationals against Holland and the United States.