A Feilding student who suffered suspected spinal injuries during a high school rugby game is recovering in hospital with close support from family.

The 15-year-old Feilding High School student, who plays for the third XV rugby team, was flown to hospital yesterday afternoon after suffering an injury in a game against Napier Boys' High School.

Scott Guthrie, the father of another player from the team, said the injury happened within the first 20 minutes of the game.

"He just got caught up in a normal rugby manoeuvre," he said.


Guthrie said the player was attended to immediately by parents on the sideline who were registered nurses.

"He was given all the full Monty by supporters on the sideline, and within 20-25 minutes paramedics were there," he said.

"His father is also the coach of the team so he was right beside his son as soon as it happened."

Guthrie said two ambulances attended the incident, before a rescue helicopter was called.

The Palmerston North Rescue Helicopter was sent to Fielding to pick the boy up at 2pm.

A spokesperson said the boy had suspected spinal injuries, was stabilised by the onboard paramedic and transported to Christchurch Hospital for further assessment.

Feilding High School Principal Nathan Stewart said the incident occurred during a tackle that could have been in any game, on any day.

He said the player is now in a stable condition and being supported by the NZ Rugby Foundation, who work with players and families in these situations.


Lisa Kingi-Bon of the Rugby Foundation said the player's parents asked that they pass on their thanks for all of the love and support they are receiving.

"They're overwhelmed and just focusing on supporting their boy," she said.

While his mother said, "He's awake and eating so that is positive".

Feilding High School has rallied around the player's family, as well as providing support for his teammates.

"We are supporting the team and also liaising with the team in Napier who are very upset as well," Stewart said.

"It's really a day-by-day situation, and we are hoping for positive news of his progress."

Guthrie said the team, who are all aged from 14 to 16, were pretty traumatised by the event.

"Feilding High School is an amazing school and they have an amazing support network set up.

"There will be copious amounts of support coming from the school for those kids, and also from the wider community," he said.