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Catrakilis hospitalised after dangerous tackle

Harlequins fly-half Demetri Catrakilis had a narrow escape when a tackle to the throat left him unable to breathe in Saturday’s win over Gloucester.

Catrakilis stopped breathing for a few seconds after a challenge in the 13th minute and he eventually left the field on a stretcher while receiving oxygen, before being taken to hospital.

“He was struggling to breathe on the pitch, it just wasn’t clearing,” Harlequins’ director of rugby, John Kingston, told the Telegraph.

“It alarmed [the medics] which mean he needed to get oxygen and get to hospital and checked out.

““He’ll probably stay there overnight. He’s in the right place. It’s too early to say it’s precautionary but the bottom line is, when you get a blockage like that’s something you’ve got to react very quickly to.”

Catrakilis’s injury meant Kingston was forced to introduce 18-year-old playmaker Marcus Smith prematurely.

And after a shaky start, the youngster featured in Quins’ first-half tries scored by Dave Ward and Charlie Walker and eventually contributed 10 points in his side’s 28-17 win courtesy of two conversions and two penalites.

“He showed believable composure for a man of that age,” said Kingston.

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