- The Raiders forward collapsed during a game in May of last year
- The game stopped as the players formed a protective circle around them.
- Canberra coach Ricky Stuart said Harawira-Naera would have to retire
Corey Harawira-Naera has been cleared to play football again less than a year after suffering a seizure mid-game, and just two months since Canberra coach Ricky Stuart said the NRL star would have to withdraw due to the confrontational episode.
The 28-year-old collapsed and went into convulsions on the field during the Raiders’ game against Souths on May 27 last year, and players from both sides formed a protective circle around him as he received treatment.
Harawira-Naera’s attack occurred while he was alone and was not the result of any heavy contact.
Raiders CEO Don Furner Jr later said that medical staff found that three minor hits to the head in that game were contributing factors.
Harawira-Naera (pictured running the ball against Cronulla) was thought to be certain to retire from the game, but some shocking news from insiders has changed that.
The 28-year-old shocked the football world when he collapsed during Canberra’s match against Souths in May last year (pictured).
Physiotherapist Brien Seeney, who runs the popular NRL Physio account on social media platform X, said heart tests revealed the Canberra star had heart inflammation and abnormal heart rhythms.
Now specialists have told the forward that he can play again after having a device implanted in his body that could save his life, according to news corporation.
Harawira-Naera now has a defibrillator placed internally under his arm, and the implant is used to detect abnormal heartbeats and correct them using an electric shock.
Premier League soccer stars Christian Eriksen and Tom Lockyer were fitted with the devices after nearly dying when they suffered heart attacks during matches.
Lockyer recently showed off her implant on social media, revealing a bulky bulge under her left arm.
The size of the device Lockyer has fitted is not a big problem in football, but it could be in rugby league due to the constant high-level contact that players go through.
The Kiwi International has been equipped with a defibrillator implant that detects and corrects abnormal heartbeats
Anyone using the device would need to have it surrounded by padding to protect them and any opposing players attacking them.
However, the Harawira-Naera defibrillator is only slightly larger than a Post-it note, according to a newspaper report Sydney Morning Herald.
Last December, Raiders coach Ricky Stuart said the second rower would have to retire due to the seizure.
“It’s really sad for the kid… it’s a tragedy, really,” Stuart said of the New Zealand international.
“The medical reports we are receiving indicate that it is very unlikely that he will play again.
“At 28 years old, that’s tough and he’s been good for us.”
Stuart added that the club is “supporting him and looking for a path after football” as they “would like to keep him in the game”.
After recovering from the seizure, Harawira-Naera spoke about the effect it had on him and his loved ones.
“The first time it happened it crossed my mind to give away the game,” Harawira-Naera said a month after the incident.
‘It was a shock and my family felt the same.
‘What really got me was my five-year-old son. He saw it on TV and he doesn’t want to play football anymore. Luckily he wasn’t at the game.