Cardiff Blues scrum-half Richard Smith has revealed how he feared his career was over after his freak injury against Northampton Saints in a pre-season match.
Smith faces a lengthy lay off after tearing ligaments at the top of his spine in an awkward fall during the friendly 10 days ago.
Smith, who over-extended his neck as he went to ground, admitted he feared the worst as he later lay motionless in hospital having been stretchered away from the Arms Park.
But despite the prospect of missing at least the opening three months of the season, the Wales hopeful is thankful that he still has a career to look forward to.
'The doctors told me that it is quite a serious injury and that I'm going to be out for a few months, but I can't help being thankful that it wasn't anything worse,' said Smith.
'Any other injury would not have been so worrying but when you are talking about injuring the neck or spine, it has implications on your life not just rugby.
'So you have to put everything into context and think that every cloud has a silver lining.
'When it happened my first instinct was to stay still and feel for my fingers and toes. Thankfully I hadn't lost any feeling. But when the doctors ordered me to stay overnight at the hospital because there was an abnormality with the X-ray, then I started to worry.
'I tried not be too dramatic, but when I was lying there I couldn't help but wonder whether or not I had played my last game, or if this could have an effect on my life.'
The bruising friendly proved costly for both teams with Northampton losing Budge Pountney with a broken leg and Cardiff centre Pieter Muller also ruled out for the a fortnight after suffering a back injury.
'It was quite a game for injuries. So much so that I shared the same ambulance to the hospital as Pountney,' said Smith.
'We didn't chat much as I was flat out on my back and we were obviously both pretty apprehensive over how bad our respective injuries were.'
Smith, capped once for Wales against France three years ago, must wear a neck brace for the coming weeks before seeing a specialist to assess how long he will be out of action.
Cardiff have drafted in former Blue and Black scum-half Andy Moore as cover with Ryan Powell still recovering from surgery to remedy an on-going shin problem.
Moore is a veteran of Cardiff's appearance in the Heineken Cup Final in 1996.
Wales Under 18 captain Callum Bradbury is delighted to have seen his side claim a narrow 18-17 victory against a strong SA Schools 'A' side to end the three-match Under 19 International Series in South Africa on a high note.
The Wales U18 squad spent an emotional day in the drug-riddled townnship of Hout Bay. Hout Bay Warriors President Fred Johannes said the visit was 'the talk of the town' and will dream about the day everyday for the rest of his life.
RGC 1404's new head coach Mark Jones is hoping to build 'something special' in north Wales and is already looking forward to the development region participating in the Principality Premiership for the very first time.
A joint venture between the WRU and Admiral saw hundreds of children enjoy the Admiral Festival of Rugby held at the National Centre of Excellence at the weekend where Welsh internationals Sam Warburton, Scott Williams and Rob Evans were in attendance.
Wll Jones leads Wales U18s into battle this afternoon against Italy where the Welsh side will be seeking to bounce back from their narrow defeat to SA Schools in their opening clash of the U19 International Series
All four regions attended a successful training camp staged last weekend at the WRU National Centre of Excellence. It was a chance for new Wales Women's head coach Rowland Phillips to deliver his key messages to players and coaches as he prepares for the new season.
Wales U18 Team Manager Gethin Watts believes the next couple of weeks will be 'extremely beneficial' to the future of Welsh rugby as his side prepare to take part in the Under 19 International Series being staged in South Africa.
The WRU is searching for 12 new rugby development apprentices following a successful first year of its WRU Coach Core programme. Craig Duncan and Jess Hancock have flourished in the first year of the programme which has given them a real direction in their lives.
The WRU signed TV comedian Rhod Gilbert up to a 'Coaching Children Level 1' course before letting him loose on an U8s side at Whitland Junior Borderers - we went behind the scenes to film the making of 'Rhod Gilbert's Work Experience' see the results here.
Llandovery are aiming to make it three titles in a row in this year's Foster's National 7s being held at BT Sport Cardiff Arms Park on Sunday 28 August. Drovers assistant coach Simon Davies and Lee Rees assess their sides chances
A pioneering strength and conditioning programme has been delivered to more than 8000 boys and girls at hub schools throughout Wales this season, helping to develop stronger, more flexible athletes for rugby and other sports.
The Singha Premiership Rugby 7s Series returns to the BT Sport Cardiff Arms Park on July 22nd when all four Welsh regions go head to head. Scarlets skills coach Dai Flanagan and Blues Elite Performance Pathway Manager Richard Hodges along with current Welsh squad members were at the launch of this season's event