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Deep concern for rugby league stars rushed to hospital after painkiller overdose

The two players are currently in intensive care.

Image: PA Archive/Press Association Images

TWO AUSTRALIAN RUGBY league players were in intensive care on Tuesday after being rushed to hospital for taking too many painkillers, their South Sydney Rabbitohs club said.

Dylan Walker, a 20-year-old who was in last year’s premiership winning team and played for the Kangaroos, and rising star Aaron Gray, 21, were found to be unwell at Gray’s apartment in eastern Sydney in the early hours of the morning.

Both recently had surgery — Walker to his hand and Gray to his knee — and had been prescribed pain relief drugs.

“It will become clear that they had taken more than the required amount of prescribed medication,” Rabbitohs chief executive John Lee told reporters.

“Consequently, in the early hours of the morning, a third person noticed that there were side effects, including vomiting,” he said, adding that ambulances were called to rush them to hospital.

New South Wales police, who did not name the men, confirmed they were investigating “a report that two men were taken to hospital after being treated by ambulance personnel who had been called to a home in Rosebery about 3:30am”.

South Sydney were knocked out of the NRL finals earlier this month, and both Walker and Gray had undergone surgery in preparation for pre-season training later this year.

Lee said there was no evidence that any illicit drugs were involved and he did not believe alcohol was a factor.

He said he had seen both players and while they were “pretty knocked around” and “not in a state where they can communicate”, they were showing signs of improvement.

“The players are on the improve; their vital signs are very clearly on the up,” he told reporters outside the hospital.

“We hope they are going to make a full recovery.”

National Rugby League chief Dave Smith said officials were aware of the incident and the welfare of the players was the priority.

“All I know is two players are in hospital, I think one was quite serious overnight, but I think they’re both stable now,” he told reporters.

“Our priority is two men are in hospital and we keep our fingers crossed they turn out good. Anything we need to investigate, we will,” he added.

© – AFP 2015

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