Ex-Saracens ace settles £3m claim after fire extinguisher head blow ended career
Former Saracens prospect Matt Hankin has been awarded an undisclosed settlement after an ex-team-mate hit him on the head with a fire extinguisher, resulting in his eventual retirement.
The former England under-20 sued prop Richard Barrington—who remains part of Mark McCall 's Sarries squad—after the club veteran 'tapped' him on the head during a team-bonding trip in Hungary's capital, Budapest, in September 2015.
Despite the fact Hankin was wearing a metal helmet at the time, he struggled to make a full return to rugby and was forced to retire in 2018 at the age of 25, having suffered with long-term concussion
He remained on the books with the five-time Premiership champions for three years after the incident in Budapest but failed to have any first-team impact.
The lawsuit also named Saracens and former club doctor Ademola Adejuwon among the defendants.
It's understood Hankin brought legal action against Adejuwon—a faculty member of the RFU's Pre-Hospital Immediate Care in Sports (PHICIS) course—for clearing him to play three weeks after the trip to Hungary.
It was alleged this led to further injury contributing to his ultimate retirement from the sport.
Both Barrington, 31, and Adejuwon denied any liability in the matter, and it's understood that remained their stance when a judgement was delivered.
The Sun reported Hankin was seeking £3.15million in damages, although the final value of the settlement has not been revealed.
"I used to get home and just break down," Hankin said after his retirement was announced in 2018.
"A few times I just sat in my flat; I couldn't watch telly, I couldn't go out. Seeing everyone make these achievements and excel in rugby and playing so well, I felt I had so much more to achieve."
The former flanker appeared set for stardom when he was part of the first England team to win the Junior World Championship in 2013.
Hankin started at openside flanker in the 23-15 final win over Wales in France, sharing a field with future senior England stars like Luke Cowan-Dickie, Jack Nowell, Anthony Watson and Henry Slade.
His retirement led to a career in teaching, with Hankin since taking up a role as assistant director of rugby at Haileybury boarding school in Hertfordshire.
Barrington, meanwhile, has helped Saracens win four Premiership titles and three European Champions Cups during his time at the StoneX Stadium, racking up more than 200 appearances for the club since 2013.
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