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.
Principality Stadium will host the UEFA Champions League Final in six weeks' time. WRU chairman Gareth Davies, Football Association of Wales chief executive Jonathan Ford and Ambassador Ian Rush joined young sports fans at the trophy arrival at the venue to celebrate the magnitude of the event on Saturday 3rd June (kick-off 19.45).
British and Irish Lions captain Sam Warburton is looking forward to bringing together players from Ireland, Scotland, England and Wales for the biggest challenge of their careers - a series against world champions, New Zealand.
For the fifth year running, Wales referee Nigel Owens will be in charge of proceedings at Judgement Day V at Principality Stadium. It promises to be 'extra special' for the Wales' favourite ref, as he will be making his 150th appearance in the league.
There will be no shortage of inside knowledge from Bowl Finalists Caerphilly and Amman United when they face each other on Sunday at National Finals Day. Caerphilly hooker Rhys Cleverly knows the Principality Stadium pitch better than most as a matchday groundsman, while Amman United can look to Wales' record try scorer Shane Williams for some helpful advice.
Two hundred and 40 teams competed in the inaugural Urdd WRU 7s held at Pencoed last week with Welsh internationals Steff Andrews and Jasmine Joyce impressed with the talent on display, as was Urdd chief executive, Sioned Hughes.
The countdown is on for Judgement Day V as tickets for the big day at Principality Stadium soar through the 50,000 mark. Players and coaches alike are bursting at the seams to play in the double header with Dragons coach Kingsley Jones claiming there is a 'real buzz' about the event.
WRU TV went behind the scenes when the four regions got together to test their skill set for the BBC's Scrum V Live rugby show, at the WRU National Centre of Excellene in the build up to Judgement Day V. Blues' Matthew Morgan was one of the stars of the show while the Dragons' Cory Hill proved a surprise package...the full set of results will be revealed on tv screens on matchday
Wales assistant coach Richie Pugh is confident his side can cause a few headaches in the Hong Kong Sevens this weekend. In a tough group, Wales kick off their campaign against New Zealand on Friday before playing Japan and Fiji, who are chasing their third consecutive Hong Kong title, on Saturday.
Bedwas had to overcome a stubborn Carmarthen Quins side before winning the Foster's Challenge Cup final in Bridgend with a 23-18 victory. Bedwas captain Nicky Griffiths pays tribute to his side who have claimed the club's first piece of silverware in the modern era.
Team coach Brett Davey is aiming to keep his unbeaten run in cup finals at Principality Stadium intact when his side take on Amman United in the WRU Bowl final, after he guided Caerphilly to a 20-14 win against Cilfynydd in the semi-finals.
Penallta are hoping to go one step further than last season when falling to Bedlinog in the WRU Plate Final. After a titanic struggle against Nant Conwy, they have given themselves a great chance, after a hard fought 18-13 semi-final victory.