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Page last updated at 21:00 GMT, Monday, 16 June 2008 22:00 UK

Scrum-half dies after neck injury

Neath scrum-half Gareth Jones suffered a neck injury
Neath scrum-half Gareth Jones suffered a neck injury

A Neath rugby player has died in hospital after suffering an injury to his neck during a match on 20 April.

Scrum-half Gareth Jones, 28, was hurt at a ruck during a Premier Division game against Cardiff in the Arms Park, which Neath lost.

The Pontypridd-born decorator leaves a wife and two children.

"It is with deep regret that Neath Rugby have to announce that scrum-half Gareth Jones passed away peacefully this afternoon," said a club statement.

Jones, who previously played for Glyncoch, Beddau and Pontypridd, made his debut for Neath against Newport in 2006.


He won a league title with the Welsh All Blacks and was also a Konica Minolta Cup winner with Pontypridd.

Medical staff treated Jones on the pitch for around 10 minutes during the Cardiff-Neath match in April and he was then transferred to hospital, where scans revealed a significant injury to his neck.

Jones had been in intensive care at the University Hospital of Wales in Cardiff since the incident, where he underwent surgery for his injuries and medical complications.

A statement on the Neath website said: "Jones's family have requested their privacy is respected at this very sad and difficult time for them all."

Guto Davies from Pontypridd RFC paid tribute to Jones and said: "He was full of energy and that was the way he played his rugby.

"He was a real character who stood out among the squad and that's what made him so popular with the supporters."

The Welsh Rugby Union cleared Cardiff centre Darren Ryan of reckless play after he was cited over the incident in which Jones was injured.

see also
BBC Sport Wales coverage
07 Aug 07 |  Wales
Welsh Premiership
11 Apr 07 |  Welsh
Rugby union positions guide
05 Feb 07 |  Laws & Equipment

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