Hape’s career on the line as Burns retires

Shontayne Hape is facing a battle to continue his rugby career after a potentially career-ending knee injury ruled him out for the rest of the Premiership season, according to local newspaper getReading. Hape, 31, has a history of problems with his knee, undergoing a reconstruction back in 2007 when playing for the Bradford Bulls in Super League and being troubled by the same knee at the end of last season when still at Bath.

He recovered to play a part in England’s Rugby World Cup campaign last year, coming out the other side as one of few players to keep their reputations intact. His performances for London Irish however have been limited since returning from New Zealand, making just 12 appearances in all competitions and scoring two tries. He will now travel to see specialists in the United States, who will make a decision whether he will be able to play again.

The new of Hape’s injury comes on the same day that Lloyd Burns announced his retirement from the sport due to a neck injury picked up in January. Burns, 27, revealed that he may need heart surgery due to damage to his aorta. Part of the Welsh squad at last year’s Rugby World Cup after only making his debut in June, the news has been greeted by everyone at his club, Newport Gwent Dragons, and his Wales team-mates with great sadness. Captain Sam Warburton tweeted: “Terrible news, great player and guy, hope recovery goes well.”

The Director of Rugby at the Dragons, Robert Beale, released the following statement:

“Everything Lloyd has achieved in life he has earned through hard work and dedication. His enforced retirement from the game has come as a massive shock to Lloyd and his family and will resonate throughout the rugby world. I am personally relieved that this serious condition has been identified off the field of play.”