Blood clot rules out Rush

NZPA     13 Jan 2006

Rush, who coached Auckland to their first sevens title in 14 years last year, has just returned home after two weeks of hospital treatment for a clot which lodged in his lung and almost killed him, The Southland Times reported today.

The former New Zealand sevens captain and noted public speaker was not taking calls, but Auckland Rugby Union operations manager Dave Syms said Rush was in good spirits.

"He had a combination of an infection and a blood clot that was already in his system. The blood clot travelled and lodged in his lung. He now has to be under close supervision for a period of time.

"He's banned from flying because of it but he's expected to make a full recovery in the fullness of time," Syms said.

Rush was being treated for a small cut on a knuckle which had become infected just after Christmas when the clot was detected and he was rushed into intensive care.

He will be monitored closely by doctors and his recovery could take up to six months.

Rush won several national titles as a player for North Harbour before coaching Auckland to their first crown since 1991 at last year's event in his debut in a management role.

He retired from international sevens at the end of 2004 and had been widely tipped to succeed Gordon Tietjens as the national coach after the Commonwealth Games in March before his health scare.

Rush has been replaced as Auckland coach by former Samoan international To'o Vaega.

Queenstown will host their third national sevens tournament at the Wakatipu rugby club grounds in the centre of the resort town on Saturday and Sunday, with Tana Umaga, who announced his retirement from international rugby this week, a special guest.