Reds lock Connor Vest suffers fractured neck

Sat, May 27, 2023, 2:33 AM
Nathan Williamson
by Nathan Williamson

The Queensland Reds' finals hopes have suffered a major blow with lock Connor Vest fracturing his neck during their defeat to the Highlanders.

Vest was forced from the field in the first half of their five-point loss on Friday after a nasty collision with a Highlanders defender.

Catch every game of Super Rugby Pacific LIVE on Stan Sport. Start your Free Sport Trial Now

The 29-year-old was shaken by the incident but managed to walk from the field.

However, scans has revealed significant damage to his neck, with the Reds confirming he will return to Queensland for further treatment.

"Queensland Reds lock Connor Vest has suffered a fractured neck against the Highlanders in Round 14 of Super Rugby Pacific," the Reds said in a statement.

"He was admitted to the Dunedin hospital last night where a CT scan revealed a fracture of his C7 vertebrae.

"He will return home tomorrow for further assessment and specialist opinions before any further decisions are made on the management of the injury.

"We wish Connor all the best in his recovery."

Vest's injury compounds a horror night for the Reds, who face the possibility of going to Fiji for their must-win match with the Drua without co-captains Liam Wright and Tate McDermott.

Wright's injury is the more serious of the pair, appearing to dislocate his shoulder in the process of scoring a try.

As for McDermott, he was taken from the field for an HIA and didn't return.

Reds number eight Harry Wilson was proud of the fight shown with the trio off the field, leading up until the final minute before a Folau Fakatava try broke their hearts.

"I'm really proud," Wilson said.

"To finish that way hurts. Our backs are against the wall. Tonight we nearly got it done, but next week we have to get it done.

"A lot of people will be writing us off (against the Drua). We have to go over there and thrive in it."

Billy Proctor will start for the All Blacks against Fiji. Photo: Getty Images
All Blacks make 11 changes for Test against Fiji
Forward duo Franklin and Prinsep pen new Force deals
Paris Olympic Games 2024: Rugby Sevens Fixtures
Australia U20s have named their squad to face Argentina. Photo: Getty Images
Australia U20s locked in for fifth-place playoff against Argentina