Sam Cane has revealed a chilling story of memory loss on the rugby field after getting concussed.
The Chiefs and All Blacks flanker is spreading awareness of concussion and head injuries in rugby, and spoke to students from Alfriston College about the issue this week.
The 27-year-old recalled a story about not remembering a play he had been practising all week after getting concussed during a Super Rugby match a few years ago.
"It was five or six years ago and I got concussed playing the Crusaders in Christchurch," Cane told Stuff.
"We went to a lineout and Brodie Retallick made the call. I went up to him and said 'what's that play?' He said 'you know the one' … it was a special play that involved me, and one we'd been practising all week.
"Apparently I said to him I don't know it, talk me through it. At that point he knew I wasn't quite right and was no good to him or the team and was also putting myself at risk by carrying on playing. He let the physio know and they pulled me off then and there.
"Who knows, if I'd played on however long and taken another bang … two knocks in one game is seriously not good. I'm thankful Brodie did what he did."
Cane says he believes real courage on the rugby field is admitting that you or your teammate has been affected by concussion or a head knock.
"As rugby players we all like to try to tough things out," he told Stuff. "A lot of guys would be first to throw their body on the line for their team, but it takes real courage to put your hand up and say you're not quite right this week, or suffering headaches or nausea from a blow you've taken.
"It's courageous for your own wellbeing but you're also no good to your teammates if you're not at 100 per cent.
"Equally, everyone wants to be liked by their mates, but a real mate will look out for another one, and his wellbeing certainly comes before any game of rugby."
Cane's playing comeback from a shocking neck injury could begin against the Blues in Auckland this Saturday.
Chiefs coach Colin Cooper said Cane was "going really well" and his comeback "could be this week or next".
Cane suffered a neck break during a test in South Africa last October, and underwent surgery leaving him in a neck brace for six weeks.