Scotland player out of Rugby World Cup after slipping on stairs. Not the sport's first weird injury

Scotland forward Dave Cherry is out of the Rugby World Cup in France after slipping on the stairs at the team hotel, banging his head and sustaining a concussion.

His tournament is over in bizarre circumstances after only one game.

Rugby is an ultra-physical sport and injuries are pretty common during games. But Cherry isn’t the first player to get hurt in a weird way on his time off.

Some of rugby’s tough men have come unstuck grappling with dogs, dishwashers and even an out-of-control fire.


Italy prop Martin Castrogiovanni missed a game in the Six Nations tournament in 2015 after he was bitten on the nose by a friend’s dog. The Italian team called it a “minor household accident” but Castrogiovanni needed 14 stitches, showing doggy wasn’t messing around.

As a front-row forward, Castrogiovanni was used to facing up to some of the hardest men in rugby but clearly lost this particular confrontation. It wasn’t clear what breed of dog it was.


Animals have been troublesome for other rugby players.

Former Wales player Scott Baldwin was put out of action temporarily after a lion bit his hand when he tried to pet it through a fence at a sanctuary in South Africa in 2017 during a tour by his Ospreys club team.

He immediately regretted the move.

“In fairness it was nothing to do with the lion,” said Steve Tandy, the Ospreys coach at the time. “He did bite Scott but when you put your hand in a fence where there is a lion, then you will get bitten.”

Incidentally, Tandy is currently on Scotland’s coaching staff at the Rugby World Cup.


Former England wing Matt Banahan sliced open his wrist in what he called “a fight with a dishwasher and a sharp knife.”

No one likes packing and unpacking the dishwasher but Banahan’s experience was extreme. He posted a photo of his injury on social media, showing a large gash that needed at least seven stitches. The good news for Banahan was that it happened during the pre-season and he was fully recovered by the time his club team needed him.


South African player Johan Goosen may be able to claim the tamest rugby injury ever. He once hurt his knee getting off the team bus at a stadium for a club game in France. Like Cherry, the problem was a flight of stairs, this time leading down off the bus.

Goosen was out for nearly a month.


Two South Africa internationals were among four players at Irish club Munster to suffer burns after a mishap involving a fire and a foolish idea to throw some petrol on it.

Damian de Allende and RG Snyman, who are both playing for the Springboks at this year’s Rugby World Cup, had burns to their legs, hands and face after one of the players decided to use a little petrol on the fire to get it going. Two other players looking to relax around the fire, Mike Haley and CJ Stander, also sustained burns in the accident in 2021.

“We were just sitting around the fire and one of the boys threw a bit of petrol over the fire and then it caught his hand and he just tried to put it down on the floor and then the whole thing caught alight and exploded,” de Allende told South Africa’s SuperSport website.

None of the injuries were too serious. De Allende didn’t say which of the players was guilty of adding fuel to the fire.


AP Rugby World Cup:

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