Northampton Saints, Wallabies star Rob Horne forced to retire due to nerve damage

Horne, pictured right playing against Newcastle, suffered the injury at Leicester last weekend. Mark Runnacles/Getty Images

Northampton Saints' Wallabies centre Rob Horne has been forced into retirement just seven days after suffering nerve damage to his right arm.

Horne, 28, required six minutes of treatment before being carried off on a stretcher against Leicester at Welford Road last Saturday, having run into Tigers No. 8 Sione Kalamafoni at kick off.

The Australian, who was captaining Saints for the first time, was taken to hospital and following further tests at the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital in Stanmore he has been advised to stop playing.

"It is with great sadness that Northampton Saints can today confirm that due to an injury sustained in the club's fixture against Leicester Tigers, centre Rob Horne has been forced to retire from rugby," read a statement released on Northampton's official website Saturday morning.

"After undergoing tests, leading neurological consultants from The Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital (Stanmore) confirmed that Horne has suffered career-ending nerve damage to his right arm."

Horne joined Northampton last summer from the New South Wales Waratahs, with whom he won the Super Rugby title in 2014.

He also won 34 caps for Australia, playing in two Rugby World Cups and representing the Wallabies in the 2013 series against the British & Irish Lions.

"This is absolutely tragic news, and has been devastating for every member of the squad and staff here," interim Saints head coach Alan Dickens said.

"All our thoughts are of course with Rob and his family at this time.

"Rob is not only a world-class rugby player, but he's an exceptional man. He is a hugely respected and popular member of the dressing room and this will be an enormous loss to Saints -- both from a rugby and a personal perspective.

"Even though he had only been here for one season, I am sure he was destined to become a club legend and, like everyone, I am deeply saddened that his career has been prematurely ended in this way."