A RUGBY player has spoken about the moment she had to be airlifted to hospital after suffering a serious neck injury during a game.

Anna Louise Hutchins, from Widnes, was taken to Aintree Hospital via an air ambulance after suffering major trauma during Warrington Wolves women's game against Huddersfield Giants on Sunday, February 24.

It was the 25-year-old's first game for Warrington and indeed the team's inaugural game since forming in December - with Anna Louise having previously played for Widnes Vikings' women's side during the 2018 season.

Runcorn and Widnes World:

Anna Louise in action before her injury

But thankfully her injuries are not as serious as first feared, and she is now making a good recovery.

Anna Louise, who lives a stone's throw from the Vikings' Halton Stadium, said: "I managed to get out there and took a few big tackles and I got punched in the face when I first when on, so I think they were gunning for me from that point on.

"Then I was tackled from a funny angle, and I went down funny on my side.

"My body was in a really strange shape - I tried to turn one way but as the tackle was made I was pulled back the other way, so my body was twisted as I hit the deck and it went wrong.

"They had to move the game off the pitch I was on, because I had to lie completely still on the floor for three hours.

"I was lying there for so long that I didn't actually get taken away until after the game was finished, and all the girls were stood there waving me off."

Runcorn and Widnes World:

The air ambulance rushes Anna Louise to hospital - picture and video by Mike Henry

Anna Louise, who works as a rental agent at Wolves sponsors Central Self Drive, suffered a bulged spinal disc in her lower back and central cord syndrome during the match at the Victoria Park Arena in Warrington.

She added: "I'm still a bit sore, but a lot better than I was.

"I'd been lay completely flat since Sunday, but they sat me up on Monday night and I've been up and walking about since.

"Nothing is broken, thank god, so I've just got to take it easy and I can't play rugby for two months.

"I've got to keep a neck brace on for six to eight weeks too, but I'm pretty lucky really."

Anna Louise was due to be discharged from hospital on Tuesday night, with veteran Warrington forward and team coach Ben Westwood visiting her following the accident.

Runcorn and Widnes World:

Warrington Wolves forward Ben Westwood visited Anna Louise in hospital

She said: "The season starts in five or six weeks, and obviously I won't be able to play at the start of the season so I'm hoping to get fit and get back as soon as I can.

"But to know I was part of that first game is a big honour."