A TEENAGE rugby player is fighting for his life after collapsing on the pitch after a tackle.

Winger Sam Windross, who is understood to be 19, was playing for Northallerton Rugby Club’s first team against Halifax Vandals on Saturday, when he sustained critical injuries late in the second half.

Shocked spectators said he got up after a tackle and ran about ten yards before falling down.

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The game was immediately halted as a medical student in the Northallerton team, along with a theatre matron and an ambulance responder who were watching the Yorkshire Division Three match, tried to resuscitate him.

The former pupil at Bootham School, York, who works as a gamekeeper, continued receiving treatment until an ambulance arrived at the ground in Warley, West Yorkshire, about 20 minutes after being alerted.

He was taken to a local hospital at about 4.40pm, before being transferred to the intensive care unit at Huddersfield Royal Infirmary, where his condition was yesterday described as critical, but stable.

The family of Mr Windross, who has worked for North York Moors country pursuits firm Rievaulx Sporting Ltd since March 2010, are at his side.

Northallerton Rugby Club secretary Percy Barraclough said the match had been abandoned as concerns for Mr Windross rapidly mounted.

He said the club was grateful Mr Windross had received immediate treatment from medical professionals.

He added: “He is a young talent and we are all very seriously concerned. Rugby is a hard sport, but this sort of incident is not what anyone could conceive. It would appear the issue resulted from a tackling incident. They checked for head injuries on the pitch, but we do not know what caused the collapse.”

A Halifax Vandals spokesman said: “The club would like to thank those who acted so quickly in what was a very worrying situation.”

The Rugby Football Union said the rugby community hoped Mr Windross made a fully and speedy recovery.

A spokesman said a report detailing the incident had been sent to its medical department, which would support the club and Mr Windross’ family.