A YOUNG rugby player might “never walk again” after her back was broken in a tackle.

Dani Watts, who plays for Redingensians Rams Sirens, was today (Thursday) recovering in hospital with no feeling in her legs after she was sent hurling to the ground during a match against Bracknell Ladies’ RFC on Sunday afternoon.

The shocking incident happened just seconds before the end of the match when an opposition player tackled 28-year-old Watts at the Rams’ ground in Old Bath Road, Sonning.

Paramedics rushed to the scene shortly after 4pm following reports Watts had lost feeling in both her legs and her lower back after the crunching tackle.

A source close to Watts revealed the flanker could be paralysed for life as a result of the devastating injury, which saw her rushed into emergency surgery at the John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford.

The source said: “There were 45 seconds left to play and Sirens were winning 14-0.

“It was an off-the-ball tackle which has left her with a broken back.

“She is now residing in the John Radcliffe where she will have to stay for the foreseeable future.

“The doctors don’t know if she will be able to walk again.

“We rushed to the hospital when we heard and we got there just as she was going into surgery.

“Now it is just a waiting game.”

It is not yet known how long Watts, who works as a personal trainer for David Lloyd gym, will remain in hospital.

She is currently being supported by members of her family and the rugby club.

Redingensians’ CEO Gary Reynolds, who visited Watts in hospital on Tuesday, added: “It happened in the final play of the match which makes it more tragic. She went to put her hands on the ball but got trapped at the bottom and bent in two.

“Fortunately the Bracknell physio and ours were brilliant and the coach’s wife is a qualified nurse.

“They did a great job until paramedics arrived as Dani was in tremendous pain.

“Her back was broken but thankfully her spinal column remains in tact.”

Club chiefs have reviewed the moments leading up to the tackle and so far believe there are no signs of any foul play.

Mr Reynolds added: “It’s the worst injury I’ve ever seen in all my time involved in rugby.

“The operation went well but it’s going to be a really tough journey. I t will be a long time before we know the full extent of the injury, but so far so good.

“It’s natural for people to want to blame others and there was a lot of emotion flying around after the game. But I have viewed the DVD and as far as I can see there is nothing there.

“Rugby is a contact sport and while these injuries are extremely rare, sometimes they happen.

“Dani is a tough, tough kid which is what made her such a good player. She will receive all the support she needs.”

Watts is likely to be transferred from John Radcliffe to Stoke Mandeville Hospital to begin her recovery. Her family has received support from the RFU Injured Players Foundation.

Watts’ boyfriend, Peter Czernuszka, plays for Reading RFC first team.