All Blacks hooker Hika Elliot has been ruled out of Super Rugby next year after undergoing neck surgery and may quit rugby altogether.
The 27-year-old Chiefs hooker aggravated the neck injury while playing for the Maori All Blacks against Canada in Toronto last month, with a bulged disc having a severe effect on his co-ordination to the point where he could barely walk when replaced.
“It was quite scary for myself, my brain would say something and my legs wouldn’t go,” he told LiveSport Radio.
“It got worse and worse. It got to the stage where my legs weren’t working. They said I was lucky to actually be walking.”
Elliot had his spine fused in an operation last week and will see a specialist later this month.
He was encouraged by regaining the feeling in his hands and legs after surgery, but remains realistic about the potential danger of playing again.
“Given my position and given the injury, it’s something I need to take a hard look at.
“We’re talking about people’s lives and being able to walk. I don’t want to play Russian roulette with that sort of thing.”
Elliot, who played four Tests for the All Blacks from 2008 to 2012, has represented the Hurricanes and Chiefs in Super Rugby since 2007 and played seven seasons for Hawke’s Bay before switching to Counties