Qantas Wallabies and ACT Brumbies back Pat McCabe has confirmed his retirement from professional Rugby Union.
McCabe finalised his decision after this week receiving specialist advice from various medical professionals, who confirmed that the 26-year-old fractured his C1 vertebrae in Australia’s Test match against New Zealand at the weekend.
The Australian Rugby Union and ACT Brumbies will assist McCabe in his transition from Rugby to ensure he has continued support in the future.
Qantas Wallabies coach Ewen McKenzie congratulated McCabe on his impressive career.
“These are always difficult moments, but Pat has made the right decision in putting his future health and wellbeing ahead of any desire he may have to continue playing Rugby,” McKenzie said.
“Importantly, he gets to step away from Rugby knowing the injury, after rehabilitation, won’t have any long-term influence or impact on how he chooses to live his day-to-day life.
“He is one of the smartest and most dedicated individuals I have had the pleasure of coaching and, irrespective of what avenue he chooses to go down, I have no doubt he will be a success.
“On the field, Pat made an amazing contribution to Rugby at all levels of the game, and he’ll finish his career with some wonderful memories and many great relationships that will remain with him for life.
“Pat is truly one of the good men of our game.”
McCabe had a distinguished career, representing Australia in 24 Tests after making his Qantas Wallabies debut in 2010 against Italy in Florence.
Provincially, McCabe earned 66 caps and scored 11 tries for the ACT Brumbies since his debut for the Canberra-based franchise in 2010.
McCabe excelled at every level he competed at and was a member of various Australian teams across schoolboy, Under 19s, Australia A, Sevens and Wallaby level.
Among the many highlights of his career, Pat represented Australia at the 2011 Rugby World Cup and in the historic British & Irish Lions series in 2013.
Off the field, McCabe is currently completing a commerce-law degree.
A full statement from Pat McCabe can be found below.
It has truly been an honour to represent the Brumbies and the Wallabies over the past 5 years.
While my playing career has not ended the way I would have liked, I consider myself extremely fortunate.
Fortunate to have met and shared experiences with special players and coaches.
Fortunate to have played against opposition from around the world representing my country and province.
And fortunate to walk away from the game with life changing friendships and memories.
While the next chapter of my life is both exciting and terrifying in equal measure, I know that the lessons I have learnt in rugby will serve me well.
It is an incredible game, has given me so much more than I could have ever dreamed and I will miss it immensely.
Thank you from the bottom of my heart to everyone who has made it such a special journey.”