Cannon aims for World Cup place after injury fears
April 10, 2007

After initial fears his rugby career had ended at Jade Stadium on Saturday, Wallabies rugby hooker Brendan Cannon hasn't lost hope of returning for the Super 14 and the World Cup this year.

Cannon was stretchered off the ground with what was feared to be a career-ending neck injury after a scrum collapse during the Crusaders' 53-0 win over the Force in Christchurch.

A visit to a neck specialist is on the cards this week but Cannon, 34, was optimistic he would return before the end of the Super 14 season and push for a place in the Wallabies' World Cup squad.

"Definitely," he told the Sydney Morning Herald when asked of his World Cup aspirations.

"Anyone who plays in the Super 14 has that as their goal.

"I have re-signed for another year with the Force, and I want to honour that contract, not just this year, but also beyond this year."

Cannon admitted he feared the worst on Saturday night.

Initially it appeared that the injury was almost identical to one suffered a year ago, when he had severe compression of two vertebra junctions in his neck, with chipped bone lodging in a nerve canal, affecting his left side.

After an operation last April, he was sidelined for five months, before earning selection in the Wallabies' end of season tour of Europe.

On Saturday night when the scrum collapsed, Cannon complained of numbness in his left arm, and spent the night in a Christchurch hospital before being released on Sunday morning.

Cannon, considered an outsider for Wallabies World Cup selection, admitted yesterday there was still some numbness.

He would see a specialist to discuss his immediate future, and whether he needs further treatment.

He will definitely miss the Force's next game against the Chiefs in Hamilton on Saturday.

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