First aid training is being credited for helping lessen the impact of a serious injury on an Australian sportsman.

The Sea Eagles’ David Williams, ‘the Wolfman’, was rushed to Royal North Shore Hospital late August after fracturing his neck in an awkward tackle playing against Melbourne.

After tests including a CT scan, an angiogram and an MRI, the former NSW and Australian winger was told he is likely to remain in a collar for three months.

However, the damage could have been worse had Melbourne fullback Billy Slater not use his first aid knowledge and cradled Williams until medical help arrived and stopped anyone interfering.

“Once we heard it was his neck, we knew we didn’t want to move him too much,” Slater said.

Slater’s action was praised by the Williams family, Manly coo David Perry and coach Des Hasler.

“The situation could be very different for the Wolfman if it wasn’t for Billy,” Perry said. “That’s a medical fact. All of the players can learn from his actions.”