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Pat McCabe 'advised to retire'
Brittany Mitchell
August 27, 2014
Pat McCabe set to retire
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Pat McCabe is set to retire after a specialist confirmed he had fracture his neck during the Bledisloe Cup Test at Eden Park on Saturday. He has now fractured his neck three times in less than two years, and he has been "strongly suggested never to play again".

McCabe visited a specialist on Tuesday, when he received confirmation of the initial fracture diagnosis. Brumbies coach Stephen Larkham told ABC radio on Wednesday morning that "Pat has made the decision he's not going to play again".

But the Brumbies subsequently contradicted Larkham and reports of McCabe's retirement, stating on Twitter that the franchise would not make an announcement on the star's playing future before Thursday .

McCabe was taken from the field during the second half in Auckland, shortly after suffering a knock to his head, and sources told ESPN that the hard-running utility back was informed by medical staff on the night that he would have to retire.

That news, when it is finally confirmed, delivers a double blow to McCabe, with sources reporting to ESPN that he was negotiating a Aus$2 million deal to move to an unconfirmed French club at the end of his contract with the Australian Rugby Union and the Brumbies in 2015.

McCabe, has played only seven Tests since he first injured his neck on the 2012 tour of Europe, and he broke his neck while playing against the British & Irish Lions last year. He feared once again that his career was over when he departed the Brumbies' Super Rugby match against Western Force during March in a neck brace, and he was told that a third fracture in his neck would almost certainly force an early retirement.

McCabe recovered from that injury to star for the Brumbies as they reached the Super Rugby semi-finals, his career-best form seeing him dubbed the "Chuck Norris" of rugby by Brumbies team-mate Ben Mowen in earning a Test recall during the series against France in June.

"Pat has had a number of good years at the Brumbies," Larkham said. "I really thought this year was his best year in terms of performance. He had a really good pre-season, he had a bit of a scare earlier in the year, but he overcame that and fought his way back into the Wallabies side. I thought things were up and up for him from here, so [it is] really devastating news for Patty and for his family.

"The good thing is he's in a neck brace at the moment and will stay in that neck brace for the next couple of months and the neck should heal up fine, but devastating that he won't play rugby again."

Pat McCabe is looking at a future outside the stripes © Getty Images
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd

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