Severe Injury Leaves Cal Rugby Player Partially Paralyzed

SAN JOSE (CBS SF) — A player on the Cal men’s rugby team was severely injured during the team’s national title game Saturday and was being treated for partial paralysis.

With his teammates keeping a vigil outside his room, Robert Paylor received treatment at San Jose’s Valley Medical Center Tuesday for a spinal injury that has left him with limited motion in his arms and paralyzed from the waist down.

Paylor was injured Saturday night during the Golden Bears’ title game against Arkansas State on Saturday night at the Penn Mutual Varsity Cup in Santa Clara. Cal won by a 43-13 score to win a second straight rugby 15s national championship.

On a gofundme page, Paylor’s family wrote that the Cal sophomore has a ‘long road’ ahead of him.

“This will be a long and difficult journey for Robert and his outcome is uncertain,” the statement says. “But we know his faith and determination will get him as far as he can go in regaining mobility.”

He has undergone at least one surgical procedure to stabilize his spine.

“Robert is a strong young man with incredible faith, a wonderful family and friends to help him recover,” the family wrote.

Just how strong his support group was evident at Valley Medical Center on Tuesday as his teammates clogged the hallway outside his room.

Cal Rugby players wait outside injured teammates room/ KPIX Photo

Cal Rugby players wait outside injured teammates room/ KPIX Photo

The 6-foot-5, 233-pounder from El Dorado Hills attended Jesuit High School in Carmichael. He was a starter at the lock position for the rugby squad.

Marlon Blanton, his former coach from Jesuit High School in Carmichael said Robert isn’t one to give up hope. “[He is] a very good young man of faith. He believes in his faith, a lot,” said Blanton. “So I’m sure that will help him and his family get through it. And anything we can do, we will support him in any way we can. We love him and we’re praying for him dearly, every day.”

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