Rugby Union

Pat McCabe forced to retire from professional rugby

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Australia suffered a disastrous defeat on the weekend to New Zealand in Auckland, but on top of this unforgettable night Pat McCabe suffered another neck injury forcing him retire from the professional game at the age of 26.

This was the third fracture to McCabe's neck after it locked up at Eden Park, forcing the centre to be stretchered off and helpless as Australia went on to lose the game 51-20.

Brumbies coach Stephen Larkham broke the news to ABC Radio in New Zealand; Larkham explained McCabe had seen a specialist about his third neck injury and made it clear how disappointed he was that the 26-year-old was forced to retire.

"It's very disappointing news, actually. He had a scan over in New Zealand and it was reported to have had a little fracture in his neck," Larkham said.

"He's since seen a specialist in Sydney and the specialist has confirmed it is a fracture in there, and that he strongly suggests never to play ever again.

"I think at this stage, Patty's made the decision that he's not going to play again."

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Pat McCabe

This was an unfortunate moment for Australian rugby, and fans of Pat McCabe, but for the 26-year-old it must have been an unthinkable decision to make considering he's devoted his career to professional rugby and in the end it has sadly been taken away from him.

Persistent injuries have ruined a lot of careers in a variety of sports, mainly because they stop the development of a player and can cause all sorts of problems for both club and country.

Injuries have ruled McCabe from progressing in his career or gaining experience, as these injuries prevented the winger from representing Australia in the 2010 Commonwealth Games and forced him to drop out of the 2011 Rugby World Cup.

But maybe at some point in his first two injuries McCabe was rushed back to fitness, failing to let his injury recover fully which has become a common problem by professionals, ignoring a serious issue.

Clubs may need to be stricter with players by giving them extended time to heal, it is something that needs to be addressed by club and country considering McCabe's injury has come back to bite him hard.

Whilst balancing his law degree on top of his rugby it seems McCabe has a back-up plan but he'll look at this as a missed opportunity to progress and become a key figure for Australia.


The Australian international has featured for a few senior clubs before the 26-year-old signed a contract with Brumbies in 2010, and in the four years he played 60 games scoring 55 points.

Whilst for his country McCabe played 24 games scoring 25 points; featuring in a number of test matches and Rugby Championships.

The 26-year-old was tipped to have a great future with his style of play being rugged and strong, as McCabe's performances displayed his powerful runs which always gained great ground for the Wallabies.

For a big player he had a lot of pace and commitment as his try against France was a perfect example of his passion.

Australia were cruising against France but the Sydney born player busted a gut to support Israel Folau and score a deserved try in the 70th minute considering the Wallabies were winning 43-9 at the time.

McCabe will be missed, as Larkham stated, but if the winger could stay in the game from behind the scenes or as a pundit then the game would greatly appreciate it, however it won't be the same as when he walked onto the Australian turf.

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