Reality TV

The most brutal injuries in SAS Australia history prove the show takes a serious toll on its stars

From broken bones to dislocated joints, these celebrity recruits were in a world of pain.
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No one ever said SAS Australia would be easy on the celebrities who sign up for the brutal military-style training course.

From gruelling physical challenges to intense and emotional interrogations, the show was designed to push the star recruits to breaking point – and usually, it does.

But sometimes things go beyond breaking point; and by things, we mean the recruits’ bodies.

From horrific bruising, to bulging discs, fractured ribs and so much worse, these are the most brutal injuries we’ve seen in SAS Australia history.

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(Image: Channel Seven)

Melissa Wu’s sudden collapse

After heading into a shack filled with noxious tear gas for a confronting hostage rescue challenge, Melissa was overcome and passed out as she exited the room, falling face-first to the ground. Ant Middleton rushed into action, calling a medic over to help treat Melissa, but she came away with a few nasty grazes on her face.

WATCH: See the moment Melissa Wu suddenly passed out. Story continues after video.

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Melissa Wu collapses after terror challenge on SAS Australia

(Image: Channel Seven)

Barry Hall’s popped rib

It felt like watching Pete Murray’s elbow dislocate all over again when Locky Gilbert left Barry Hall with a brutal rib injury after a hand-to-hand combat challenge. He told fellow recuits he felt it “pop out” in the first round but kept fighting, only making the injury worse. In the end, he had to medically withdraw due to the severity of the injury.

(Image: Instagram)

Simone Holtznagel’s bruising

The stunning model was left with a smattering of gnarly bruises after her stint on the show’s third season, reaviling in an Instagram video: “These are my f–king bruises. It really hurts, like everywhere.’

(Image: Channel Seven)

Pete Murray’s dislocated elbow

The singer was forced to withdraw from the course when he dislocated his elbow in a brutal boxing bout with tennis legend Mark Philippoussis. The gruesome injury left his fellow stars grimacing and Pete later told the Courier Mail he was in so much pain he told hospital staff “I don’t give a f-ck what you do, when I wake up I want this arm back in place.”

(Image: Instagram)

Pete Murray’s dislocated elbow

The father-of-four has since revealed it took three doctors three excruciating attempts to pop his badly injured elbow back into place, and as of September 2021 he was still working through recovery.

(Images: Channel Seven / Instagram)

Isabelle Cornish’s fractured hip

The actress sustained an excruciating stress fracture during the show, revealing the injury prompted her to withdraw in an Instagram post.

“I actually was limping from day 3 but sucked it up, cause I didn’t feel like I’d done what I needed. The load took its toll and I’m now suffering from a stress fracture In the hip. My values made me leave the show. My back is also not in good shape and I didn’t want to push it further than I needed at this point in my life.”

(Image: Instagram)

Nick ‘Honey Badger’ Cummins’ injured shoulder

Nick walked away from the show with a whole host of injuries, from dropping a scary amount of weight to sustaining plenty of cuts and bruises. While the show was airing he took to Instagram to reveal he was in hospital for “a shoulder reconstruction due to the damage” to his body during filming.

See him explain the brutal toll the show took on his body in the video below.

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Nick Cummins reveals he’s in hospital after SAS injury

(Image: Channel Seven)

Nick ‘Honey Badger’ Cummins’ cut leg

The former footballer also sustained a serious cut to his leg, which SAS medic Dr Sam Hay called one of the worst injuries he’d seen on the show in an interview with New Idea.

“The gash to Nick Cummins’ leg was pretty damn impressive. It was down to the bone, and he was millimetres away from a catastrophic injury. But a dozen stitches and daily dressings ensured he kept soldiering on.”

(Image: Channel Seven)

Merrick Watts’ fractured ribs

Merrick told Now To Love of his brutal injuries, “Recovery was very slow at the start. I still have some niggling injuries. I had two fractured ribs and impact damage on my back.

“The thing that is unseen from a viewers perspective is that we completely exhausted our bodies and actually changed the physiology of them because they’ve gone into a survival mode. We lost muscle and became very skinny. But I’m now back into running and yoga, my body is still slowly recovering.”

(Image: Instagram)

Erin McNaught’s many injuries

What part of Erin’s body didn’t get battered or bruised? She revealed her many injuries in a chat with Mamamia’s podcast The Spill, saying: “I have some pretty bad bulging discs in my neck, which are really s–tty and causing me a lot of pain.

“I also tore a ligament in my sternoclavicular joint, which is where your sternum meets your collar bone. And I tore my subscapularis which is one of your rotator cuff muscles. So one of my arms was pretty useless for six weeks.”

(Image: Instagram)

Shannan Ponton’s hypothermia

Shannan’s weight plummeted on the show and he suffered hypothermia three times in six days during filming – he even lost the tips of his fingers to frostbite.

“I was walking uphill, everything went a psychedelic green and then you just black out. I totally and utterly lost my memory – my body core temperature was at 34 degrees, and everyone knows you should be at 36.7 degrees,” Shannan told 7News.

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SAS Australia star Shannan Ponton’s shock weight loss

(Image: Instagram)

Emma Husar’s bruising

Emma captioned this gory picture: “This was taken immediately after my first shower in days, I thought I was still dirty so I turned the taps back on and went in a second time.

“We filmed 24/7 and each ep is 43minutes, there’s a lot you don’t get to see! Namely the crawling through rocks, over rocks and doing burpees on rocks! Rocks for dayzzz! I have a couple of other morbid photos where my body took a hammering and the recovery as all the recruits do, stay tuned!”

(Image: Instagram)

Erin Holland’s bruising

The usually glamorous star was covered in bruises after her stint on the show, captioning this photo: “A raw look at what a few days of selection looked like (plus a sore back from 90+ kilos on it 🤣)

@sasaustralia is unlike anything I’ve ever experienced. It’s 24/7 – so many tasks that can’t possibly all make it to air!”

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