Former Cronulla back Nathan Stapleton was rushed to hospital earlier this month after sustaining a fractured neck whilst playing the 15-man game.

According to a report from Fox Sports, Stapleton, 32, had been representing the Boorowa Goldies Rugby Club and after being caught at the bottom of a ruck, was sent directly to West Wyalong District Hospital.

While the Country New South Wales native's injury came on April 9 during a contest against West Wyalong, Boorowa released the following statement on Stapleton's health via their Facebook page on April 19:

To all members of the Boorowa Rugby community,

During our game last Saturday at West Wyalong, Goldies Men's player Nathan Stapleton suffered a significant injury during the second half which led to the match being abandoned. Unfortunately during contact, Nathan fractured his neck and injured his spinal cord, requiring significant medical assistance. Through an incredible effort from members of each club, Nathan was given first aid until paramedics could arrive.

Nathan has begun his recovery at hospital in Sydney, and whilst he shows improvement each day the extent of his injuries and long term impact remain unclear. All of our thoughts and prayers are with Nathan, his wife Kate and their family at this time.

A special thank you to all of the Goldies family, rugby clubs and Boorowa citizens who have offered their thoughts and support. We will continue to support Nathan in the short and long term and we will communicate plans for this in the near future.

Embed from Getty Images

Stapleton earned his first-grade stripes with the Sharks in 2009 after progressing from club side Glen Innes and Cronulla's NYC team.

The ex-utility pulled on the black, white and blue on 61 occasions for 104 points between 2009 and 2014 before plying his trade for a single season with Northern Hemisphere franchise, London Broncos.