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Ita Vaea's season with Brumbies is over already

Ita Vaea will not play Super Rugby this season

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Article Published: Friday 15 February 2013|

The Brumbies have been dealt a blow ahead of their Super Rugby season as Ita Vaea has been ruled out for the Super Rugby season.

A potential life-threatening heart condition has put Vaea's career on hold after a clot formed on his heart last year and bits started to break off and were found in his kidneys and calf at pre-season training.

Brumbies coach Jake White says that the "Brumbies family" will rally around Vaea while he is unable to train and they will help him get back to full health.

Vaea is now taking blood-thinning medication to help him overcome the condition but this makes it too dangerous for him to play due to the risk of internal bleeding, especially from a head or chest knock.

Had Vaea continued to play with the clot undetected, it could have caused a stroke or cardiac arrest.

"He's part of the Brumbies family, it's just the tradition of the Brumbies, and we want to give him everything we can," White told The Canberra Times.

"We want to help him, he's a young boy and with a great future and we want to make sure he still has that great future.

"Five minutes into a practice he couldn't walk and there was a clot running up and down in his system.

"I'm really proud of our medical staff, they've got in on this early and they've looked after him and that's a positive thing for the players here, they know they will be looked after."

Brumbies doctor Angus Bathgate said that Vaea's life would have been at risk had he kept playing.

"At the end of the day, the clot in his leg probably saved his life," he said.

"It could have easily gone to his brain and he would have had a stroke. It's scary stuff. You don't expect it in young football players. "

"He's being well looked after now. It's unusual, it's not typical but it is being well managed and he's feeling normal."

White said Vaea would not be forgotten despite his illness keeping him on out of Super Rugby for the year.

"It's not like it's just a conveyer belt down here, we don't just spit out players when they can't play," he said.

"They come here, we look after them and all of their wellbeing. I want to turn the players into better people, and medically we're not going to milk them and milk them and then burn them out.

"I trust my medical staff, we've managed this and I'm proud of that because if we had a gung-ho approach and made him keep training, he could have had a stroke."

Coaching staff and players have visited Vaea in hospital and he was at Brumbies training on Thursday.

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