Michael Fatialofa has opened up on his "traumatising" experience in intensive care and described suffering his serious spine injury as "pretty scary".

The Worcester Warriors lock sustained a fracture in his C4 vertebrae as well as a spinal contusion, a condition which causes compression on the spine, during the Premiership encounter with Saracens on January 4.

Fatialofa spent four weeks at St Mary's Hospital in London, three of those in intensive care, before being transferred to a specialist spinal clinic at the Royal Buckinghamshire Hospital.

Last month, his wife Tatiana posted a video on Instagram of Fatialofa walking unaided, which she described as "a miracle".

In an interview with 1 NEWS, Fatialofa spoke about those life-changing events.

"I wasn't even trying to be a hero or anything. I think it was just the perfect mix - my head was in a bad position. His hip was there and it was just one of those things," he said.

"From my neck down, I couldn't feel anything or move anything.

"It was pretty scary and I was really short of breath because ... the spinal cord was compressed and anything below the spinal cord is affected, and that includes my lungs, and I was just kind of trying to breathe."

On being in intensive care, he added: "It's a time that's tough to think about.

"My room-mates were victims of gun violence and stabbings and I could hear everything going on. Just all the beeping and no sleep. It's something I don't really like thinking about now that I'm past it.

"I heard some people die next to me. It was quite traumatising. All I could hear was a beeper go off, everyone rush in and then I have a new room-mate the next day."

Michael Fatialofa has walked unaided as he continues to recover from the serious injury he suffered in January, with his wife claiming it is a "miracle". 

The Worcester Warriors lock sustained the spinal injury during a Premiership match against Saracens on January 4 and spent four weeks at St Mary's Hospital in London, with three weeks of those in intensive care.

After being transferred to a specialist spinal clinic at the Royal Buckinghamshire Hospital, Fatialofa took his first steps back to recovery in February, posting a video to Instagram that showed the 27-year-old lifting his legs without support and taking steps with the aid of staff.

Now, Fatialofa has continued his rehabilitation as he walked without assistance in a video shared by his wife Tatiana on Instagram.

"You're witnessing a miracle that even medical professionals can't explain," she said.

"They are so shook by his progress given his critical level of injury.

"He was literally paralysed from the neck down just 10 weeks ago and currently spinal cord injuries do not have a clinical cure, but my amazing husband is proof that God is never limited to human wisdom. So, so, so thankful."

Fatialofa was diagnosed with a spinal concussion and had surgery to relieve pressure on the spinal cord.

Though Fatialofa continues to make progress, the coronavirus outbreak – which has caused the suspension of the Premiership season until at least April 14 – means visiting hours will be reduced.

"We've been advised by the hospital that visiting probably will be reduced to only one hour soon and while I understand completely it's still so hard on the heart," his wife added.

Players from Wasps, Worcester Warriors and Gloucester have taken a 25 per cent pay cut due to the coronavirus outbreak.

The Premiership season was suspended on Monday for five weeks due to COVID-19.

With a loss of revenue as a result of no games being played, Wasps have lowered wages by a quarter from April 1 until Premiership action resumes, though a number of lower paid staff will be excluded from the reductions.

"I spoke with [head coach] Lee Blackett and senior members of the playing squad last night, and we then communicated this message to the wider team and colleagues," Wasps CEO Stephen Vaughan said in an open letter to fans, partners, staff and the community.

"I could not be more proud of their response, understanding and determination to help the club in such testing times. The same is true of the players' efforts to support our wider community stay connected and keep talking, which I am sure you will be aware of."

Worcester have lowered wages by the same margin, also effective from the start of next month. The cut will not apply to staff below a certain salary threshold, though.

"We have offered as much support as we can to any member of staff who may suffer particular hardship as a consequence," the Warriors added in a statement on the club's website.

Gloucester confirmed they have taken the move amid the global pandemic to help them through "this incredibly challenging time".

Meanwhile, the Rugby Football Union on Friday confirmed the season is over for all levels below the Premiership.

Sale Sharks ran in six tries as they thrashed London Irish 39-0 to edge ahead of Exeter Chiefs at the top of the Premiership.

Sam James grabbed a double, scoring in each half, while Luke James, Rob Webber, Denny Solomona and Byron McGuigan piled on the five-pointers for Steve Diamond's team.

Webber's try came on his 100th appearance for the Sharks.

McGuigan dotted down a fine try at the death to put the seal on a highly successful outing for the home side, who climbed ahead of Exeter on points difference but have played an extra game.

Exeter will have the chance to re-establish themselves as front-runners when they host Bath on Saturday. London Irish remain eighth in the table.

Northampton Saints halted a four-match losing skid as they won 16-10 on the road against Worcester Warriors.

Mikey Haywood's 32nd-minute try and 11 points from the boot of James Grayson gave Northampton a welcome victory, with Ollie Lawrence notching a converted score for the hosts.

Northampton's win nudged them ahead of Bristol Bears and up to third in the table, five points behind the top two, while Worcester stay 10th, just ahead of second-bottom Leicester Tigers.

Tom Hendrickson grabbed two tries as rampant Exeter beat Northampton 57-7 to pull eight points clear at the top of the Premiership.

Northampton arrived at Sandy Park with their hopes of being involved in a battle for first place possibly hinging on the outcome, and the thumping nature of their defeat was painful for Saints.

Hosts Exeter could not breach the try-line in the opening half-hour, having just a penalty from Joe Simmonds to show for their initial endeavours.

Jonny Hill, Elvis Taione and Jannes Kirsten then crossed in quick succession to put the Chiefs in charge by the break, building a 22-0 lead after taking advantage of a yellow card for Tom Collins.

Hendrickson went over twice in the second half, with Ben Moon, Tom O'Flaherty and Sam Simmonds taking the home side's try count to eight.

James Grayson dotted down a consolation for Northampton, who now sit fourth, nine points adrift of Exeter, with their points difference having taken a battering.

Bristol jumped above Northampton into third place after a 13-10 home win over Worcester.

Eight points from the boot of Callum Sheedy and a Luke Morahan try gave the Bears their narrow win.

Nick David's try early in the second half for Warriors, converted by Duncan Weir, and a penalty from Scott van Breda kept it tight.

However, Sheedy's second penalty of the game in the 69th minute proved to be the match-winner, leaving Worcester down in 10th place.

Curtis Rona scored a pair of tries as London Irish secured a 29-15 derby win at Harlequins, while Premiership high-flyers Sale Sharks were brought back down to earth by beleaguered Saracens.

Irish stunned title contenders Northampton Saints last time out and followed that up with a convincing bonus-point victory at The Stoop on Saturday.

Rona laid on the opening try for Matt Rogerson in treacherous conditions and the all-action wing grabbed his first of the afternoon after brilliant work from Ben Meehan.

A Marcus Smith penalty was Quins' only score of the first half and they were 17-3 down at the break after Stephen Myler was on the target from the tee at the other end, having converted both tries.

Alex Dombrandt powered his way over to reduce the deficit, but Rona dotted down again and Ollie Hoskins bagged the bonus point after Cadan Murley helped himself to Quins' second try in west London.

Sale missed the chance to move ahead of Northampton into second spot, going down 36-22 to champions Saracens at Allianz Park after beating leaders Exeter Chiefs in their previous match.

Rhys Carre, Rotimi Segun, Nick Isiekwe and Richard Barrington touched down for Saracens, while fit-again full-back Alex Goode shone in his first Premiership match of the season.

Wasps were beaten 18-9 by fellow strugglers Leicester Tigers at the end of a week that saw director of rugby Dai Young step back from first-team duties, while Bath edged out Worcester Warriors 22-21.

Michael Fatialofa has taken his first steps as the Worcester Warriors lock continues his rehabilitation from a serious spinal injury.

The forward was injured during Worcester's Premiership encounter at Saracens on January 4 and spent four weeks at London's St Mary's Hospital.

Three of those were spent in intensive care before Fatialofa was transferred to a specialist spinal clinic at the Royal Buckinghamshire Hospital in Aylesbury.

The 27-year-old posted an update on Instagram, where he can be seen on a video lifting his legs without support and taking tentative steps with the aid of hospital staff.

"Six weeks deep. Doctors didn't know me. Could be years of grinding ahead but determined to get out of this chair," he wrote.

Meanwhile, Sarries pledged to donate £1,000 for every try they score on Saturday against Sale Sharks towards his recovery, while a JustGiving page has raised almost £34,000.

Sale Sharks survived a second-half fightback from Exeter Chiefs to secure a hard-earned 22-19 victory over the Premiership leaders.

Having headed into Saturday's encounter on the south coast without a defeat in all competitions since November, Exeter found themselves trailing 22-5 at the interval after a blistering first-half display from the visitors.

With Tom O'Flaherty sent to the sin bin early on Exeter, Sale ran in three tries in the first half – Chris Ashton, Daniel du Preez and Byron McGuigan getting on the scoresheet.

Rob du Preez added a further seven points, though Phil Dollman's try had handed the Chiefs some hope and Exeter gained 14 points in the space of seven minutes to set up a grandstand finale.

But Sale held firm, clinching a victory that lifted them into third, four points behind Exeter.

Elsewhere, Wasps ran in three tries in the second half to come from behind and edge out Worcester Warriors 30-26, with Dan Robson's late try proving decisive in a bonus-point win.

Wasps are eighth, level on points with the Warriors and three shy of Bath, who just got the better of Leicester Tigers – Tom Homer's double ultimately securing a 13-10 victory.

Meanwhile, Bristol Bears snapped a three-match losing streak with a convincing 34-16 triumph over west country rivals Gloucester, who slipped into fourth.

Callum Sheedy kicked 19 of the Bears' points, converting five penalties in the first half, with Bristol going over three times after the break.

Worcester Warriors lock Michael Fatialofa has been moved out of intensive care and is making "good progress" after suffering a spinal contusion.

The 27-year-old New Zealander sustained a serious neck injury in the Premiership defeat to Saracens at Allianz Park on January 4.

Fatialofa underwent surgery to relieve the pressure on his spinal cord caused by bruising and swelling.

Worcester revealed on Thursday that the former Hurricanes forward has been moved from intensive care to the Major Trauma Unit at St Mary's Hospital in London.

A club statement said: "Michael's condition remains serious but he is making good progress and he is showing encouraging signs of improvement.

"The hope is that he will soon be transferred to the internationally acclaimed spinal injuries unit at Stoke Mandeville Hospital in Buckinghamshire to continue his rehabilitation."

The Warriors have set up a special email account – This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. – so that Michael and his wife, Tatiana, can receive messages of support.

Worcester Warriors lock Michael Fatialofa had successful surgery to ease pressure on his spinal cord after being injured in Saturday's match against Saracens.

The operation was necessary because of bruising and swelling, and Worcester said the New Zealander remains "in a serious condition" at St Mary's Hospital in Paddington, London.

Worcester were beaten 62-5 at Allianz Park, with former Hurricanes forward Fatialofa injured and carried off on a stretcher moments after coming off the bench early in the second half.

The Warriors said they are in daily contact with Fatialofa's neurosurgeon and have stressed he has been awake.

A statement from the Premiership club on Tuesday said Fatialofa was "resting and recovering".

"The operation was a success and Michael is stable, but he remains in a serious condition and is receiving ongoing care at the intensive care unit of the hospital," Worcester said.

"The process of recovery and observation of improvement will now begin. As always our thoughts and prayers are with Michael and his family who we will continue support however we can as part of the Warriors family."

Fatialofa's wife Tatiana wrote on Instagram: "@michaelfats strongest man I know. Surgery was a success... but we already knew it would because if God is for us, who can be against us!"

Worcester Warriors lock Michael Fatialofa requires surgery to relieve the pressure on his spinal cord caused by bruising and swelling.

New Zealander Fatialofa injured his neck during the Warriors' 62-5 loss to Saracens at Allianz Park on Saturday and was taken to St Mary's Hospital in London.

The former Hurricanes forward remains in the intensive care unit but is awake and has his family with him.

A Warriors statement read: "Initial scans were positive showing no broken bones, however, [Fatialofa] has some bruising and swelling on his spinal cord.

"He will undergo surgery this evening in order to relieve the pressure caused by the bruising and help restore function.

"Nick Tait, Warriors' club doctor, and the club's medical team are in daily contact with Michael's neurosurgeon.

"Michael and his wife, Tatiana, have been overwhelmed by messages and offers of support from the rugby community across the world.

"Warriors players, staff and club co-owners Colin Goldring and Jason Whittingham, have also been closely involved in supporting Michael and his family.

"We will issue a further update on Michael's condition when appropriate."

New Zealander Michael Fatialofa was spending a second night in a London hospital on Sunday after suffering a neck injury playing for Worcester Warriors against Saracens.

The former Hurricanes lock came off the bench in the 50th minute of Worcester's 62-5 defeat in the Premiership, and he suffered the injury almost immediately.

It led to a stoppage of around 15 minutes at Allianz Park to allow Fatialofa to be treated, before he was taken away on a stretcher and transported to hospital.

Worcester said in a statement on Sunday: "Warriors lock Michael Fatialofa will spend a second night in St Mary’s Hospital, Paddington where his condition continues to be assessed."

The club added: "We will provide a further update on Michael’s condition when we have one. On behalf of Michael we would like to thank all those who have passed on messages of support and concern."

A short statement from the All Blacks on Sunday said the thoughts of those involved with the New Zealand national team were with Fatialofa.

Worcester director of rugby Alan Solomons said on Saturday: "It is a massive concern and I'm worried about it."

He added: "The medics have taken all precautions and done everything possible."

Northampton and England back-rower Tom Wood expressed his worry, writing on Twitter: "Just hearing the news of Michael Fatialofa neck injury. Scary stuff. My thoughts are with him and his family right now. Really hoping it’s not as bad as it sounds and that he improves soon."

Saracens' Brad Barritt, who scored an early try in his team's convincing win, wrote on Saturday: "Our thoughts and prayers are with Michael Fatialofa of @WorcsWarriors wishing you a swift and full recovery."

Relegation-threatened Saracens bounced back from a defeat to Premiership leaders Exeter Chiefs with a 62-5 thrashing of Worcester Warriors, while there were also wins for Leicester Tigers and Gloucester on Saturday.

Champions Sarries have now collected more points this season than Exeter, but a 35-point deduction for breaching salary-cap regulations means they remain bottom of the pile and in the red.

However, the beleaguered the London club are making swift progress in their survival bid and scored 10 tries in rout of Worcester at Allianz Park in a week that saw Nigel Wray resign as chairman.

It was one-way traffic from the outset as Ben Earl opened the scoring after six minutes, with the first of Rotimi Segun's first-half double quickly following.

Brad Barritt and Mako Vunipola also went over before the break, and Sarries matched their haul from the first 40 minutes in the second period.

Richard Barrington, Maro Itoje, Duncan Taylor, Jackson Wray and, finally, in the 81st minute, Elliot Daly got on the scoresheet, with Owen Farrell nailing six conversion attempts.

There was a derby win for Gloucester as they put on a late show to beat Bath 29-15 at Kingsholm.

Rhys Priestland's five penalties had visitors Bath in front until just before the hour-mark, but tries from Gerbrandt Grobler and Ruan Ackermann in quick succession set up an ultimately comfortable victory.

Leicester got a much-needed win as they saw off Bristol Bears 31-18, led by England pair George Ford and Jonny May.

Tigers are only kept off the bottom of the table by Sarries, but a strong start set up a precious second victory of the season in the early kick-off.

Bristol-born Ellis Genge England prop went over with just three minutes played, and May and Ford crossed later in a first half that saw two Bears men sent to the sin bin.

Although Bristol battled back early in the second period, May had his second try with six minutes remaining, while Ford dispatched all four conversions and a penalty to leave Leicester 18 points better off than European Champions Sarries.

Leinster maintained their phenomenal 100 per cent Pro14 record by grinding out a 13-6 derby victory at Munster and Edinburgh beat Glasgow Warriors on Saturday.

The defending champions put on a defensive masterclass at Thomond Park to make it nine wins from nine in the competition.

Leinster held off a bright start from Munster to score through Ed Byrne from their first real attack of note.

Ross Byrne added the extras and split the posts again to make it 10-0 after 22 minutes, with JJ Hanrahan getting Munster on the board shortly before the break.

Hanrahan nailed another penalty early in the second half, but for all their endeavour, Munster could not find a way through a stoic Leinster defence.

Edinburgh - second in Conference B - overcame Glasgow 29-19 to keep alive their hopes of winning the 1872 Cup – contested annually between the Scottish rivals – for a third straight year, having lost to the same opponents a week ago.

Darcy Graham scored twice for Edinburgh, who were twice behind after the break due to tries from Scott Cummings and George Horne.

Benetton Treviso made it two wins over Italian rivals Zebre in the space of a week, hooker Hame Faiva scored a hat-trick in a 36-25 win despite the early sending off of Juan Ignacio Brex.

Louis Rees-Zammit scored a first Gloucester hat-trick but Northampton Saints ran out 33-26 winners in a seven-try thriller that sees them return to the top of the Premiership table.

In a match of high quality at Franklin's Gardens, it was fledging Welsh winger Rees-Zammit – who has five tries over his past two matches – who touched down first, racing free after picking up Mark Atkinson's grubber kick.

Saints took control through scores from Mike Haywood and Cobus Reinach and the respective boots of Dan Biggar and Piers Francis, before Chris Harris's converted try reduced the arrears.

Reinach's second, after a loose pass from Danny Cipriani, left Gloucester with an uphill task but Freddie Clarke released Rees-Zammit for his second of the match.

A yellow card for Josh Hohneck for a high tackle left Gloucester a man light, during which time Francis added three points from the tee and, although Rees-Zammit completed his treble when Gloucester worked the ball wide, he nailed another penalty to leave Saints out of sight.

Struggling Leicester Tigers dramatically fought back from a 14-point deficit to earn a thrilling 30-30 draw with Harlequins at Twickenham.

Quins were in complete command against a Leicester side with just a solitary win to their name this season, with tries from Paul Lasike, Marcus Smith and Chris Robshaw helping the hosts to a 27-13 lead.

But Jordan Taufua started the comeback on the hour, before Smith and Leicester fly-half George Ford exchanged penalties.

Will Collier's yellow then left Quins at a temporary numerical disadvantage, which Leicester made the most of when Telusa Veainu latched onto a kick from Ford, who added the extras to tie up the game.

Sale Sharks made it back-to-back wins to move seventh in the table as Rhys Priestland kicked 11 points in a 16-14 beating of Bath, for whom Akker van Der Merwe and Byron McGuigan went over in quickfire scores after the break.

Worcester Warriors, hammered 36-3 by Gloucester last time out, bounced back with a 20-6 beating of London Irish – the visitors having Motu Matu'u sent off seven minutes before the break, shortly after Allan Dell was also sin-binned for the away team. 

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