/ Australia

/ News

Pat McCabe 'advised to retire'
Brittany Mitchell
August 27, 2014
Pat McCabe set to retire
Related Links

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

Live Sports

Communication error please reload the page.

  • Latest
  • Most Viewed
  • News
  • Features
  • Rugby

    Unsavoury sledging did not end with Potgieter

    Fallout continues from the NSW-Brumbies derby, with one Tahs forward - not Potgieter - surprised by other unsavoury comments during the game, Greg Growden reports

  • Rugby

    Super Rugby preview, team news, line-ups: Round 7

    Greg Growden previews Super Rugby round 7. We've also got key stats, team news and all the line-ups to inform your ESPN Footytips Super Rugby picks

  • Formula 1

    Storm clouds gather in Malaysia

    Will Mercedes dominate again? Can anybody catch up with the help of a rainstorm? And will the Red Bull/Renault relationship tear itself apart? All those questions and more will be answered at this weekend's Malaysian Grand Prix

  • Formula 1

    Alonso: More questions than answers

    Maurice Hamilton pieces together what we know from the Fernando Alonso crash and explains why the latest answers raise more questions

  • Rugby

    Attacking revolution won't be repeated at World Cup

    John Mitchell lapped up the action on 'Sensational Saturday' - but warns not to expect a repeat come Rugby World Cup time later this year

  • News
  • Features
  • Inside Boxing

    'I've sparred with Klitschko and Fury - now I want Joshua'

    Unbeaten heavyweight Dillian Whyte, 28, (14-0, 11 KOs) tells ESPN where his rivalry with Anthony Joshua stems from and outlines the plan for his career this year after returning from a doping ban in November

  • UFC

    Top 10 best UFC fighters of all time

    Some of the best fighters to ever glove up have plied their trade in the Octagon - now ESPN list the 10 best who have fought under the UFC banner

  • Ask Steven

    Home front

    Who was the first Briton to win the British Grand Prix?

  • Ask Steven

    Pointless drivers

    Where does Anthony Davidson's record of 24 Grands Prix without a point rank him?

  • Ask Steven

    Home favourites

    How many F1 drivers have had one win, but done it at their home Grand Prix?

Sponsored Links

Make Huge Income from your Home
Download your Free Guide And Learn How To Increase Your Monthly Income