A Dannevirke under-13 rugby player was airlifted to Palmerston North Hospital with a neck injury as a precautionary measure on Sunday afternoon.

Playing Wairarapa and trailing by seven points, the Dannevirke boy went down in a tackle, which coach Tim Read described as "just one of those things," as his player was heading for the try line.

"We were on attack and there was nothing wrong with the tackle, our fellow just happened to roll over on his shoulder," Read said.

He said he'd been unable to contact the boy's mother yesterday morning to find out how he was, but the airlift by the Palmerston North Rescue Helicopter was just a precautionary measure.


Referee James Kendrick, who also volunteers with Dannevirke's St John Ambulance, said he made the decision to call in the rescue helicopter after the player had been on the ground for quite sometime, waiting for an ambulance.

"It was pretty cold and I was lying there with him and decided we needed to take action."

Kendrick called the game off after the incident and Bevan Ellison, the chairman of Dannevirke JAB rugby, said he was quite relieved to hear the emergency airlift was just a precaution. "When I first learned of the incident, I was alarmed but there was nothing malicious about the tackle."

Read said his young team was playing really well at the moment and looking forward to taking on Hastings East and Hastings West at home in September.

On Sunday, the Dannevirke under-9 and under-11 representative teams travelled to Palmerston North to play Te Kawau. Both teams lost narrowly, going down 10-20 against their opposition.