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The most devastating pre-season injuries in league history

The most devastating pre-season injuries in league history Written by STAFF WRITERS , February 12, 2016

THERE’S never a good time to get injured but going down prior to the start of the season is as bad as it gets. 

Here are some of the most notable pre-season injuries over the years.

MARK GASNIER (Dragons) – Pectoral tear, 2007

gasnier 2007

Coach Nathan Brown and the Dragons were left devastated in 2007 after their most potent attacking weapon – Mark Gasnier – went down with a torn pectoral muscle in the Charity Shield.

The injury put the Test star out of action for the best part of six months and eventually limited him to just six appearances.

STEVE ROACH (Tigers) – Knee, 1987


After a promising 1986 season, the Tigers were hoping for a strong showing the following season but were dealt a fatal blow when their Origin prop and enforcer Steve Roach went down with a serious knee injury in a pre-season trial.

Roach returned to action four matches before the start of the finals series but failed to make an impact as the Tigers went out in week one to the Rabbitohs.

LACHLAN COOTE (Cowboys) – Knee, 2014


Bought as the replacement for club legend Matty Bowen, Lachlan Coote could not have asked for a worst start to life as a Cowboy after tearing his anterior cruciate ligament in the inaugural Auckland Nines.

This forced a reshuffle for rookie coach Paul Green who opted to give Michael Morgan a crack at the No.1 jersey – an opportunity he took with both hands. Thankfully though, Coote returned in 2015 bigger and better as his performances were a driving force behind the club’s maiden premiership.

JUSTIN HODGES (Broncos) – Achilles tear, 2010

hodges achilles

Arguably one of the worst pre-season injuries in rugby league history, Justin Hodges went down in January 2010 in what was described as a ‘training mishap’ resulting in a torn achilles tendon. The injury would put the Test centre out for the entire season and condemn the Broncos to 10th position on the ladder.

JARROD MULLEN (Knights) – Hamstring tear, 2014


It has been an injury-plagued career for Jarrod Mullen but 2014 was particularly tough for the playmaker who was hoping to build on a 2013 season which saw the Knights get to within one game of the grand final.

Playing in the inaugural Auckland Nines, Mullen went down in the opening game of the tournament with what was later diagnosed as a torn hamstring. The injury kept Mullen out of action until round six but an aggravation later in the season would limit Singleton-born product to just 16 matches.

DARIUS BOYD (Broncos) – Achilles tear, 2015

boyd darius

Just like his team-mate five years before him, new Broncos recruit Darius Boyd, in his first training session of the new season, tore his achilles tendon. Initially projected to be out for the best part of the 2015 season, Boyd shocked the everyone including the club’s coaching staff when he returned to the training pitch three months ahead of schedule and was named in the Broncos round nine side to tackle the Panthers.

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