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Broken neck forces Wallaby back McCabe to retire

A third neck fracture has forced Pat McCabe into early retirement

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Article Published: Wednesday 27 August 2014|

Wallabies and Brumbies back Pat McCabe has been forced to retire from playing rugby after he fractured his neck for a third time.

McCabe's retirement was announced by his Brumbies coach Stephen Larkham who said that a scan had revealed a fracture.

Twenty-six-year-old McCabe started in Saturday's Rugby Championship Bledisloe Cup match for the Wallabies on the wing but suffered a heavy knock which created the fracture.

"(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," said Larkham.

"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."

McCabe suffered his first neck fracture in 2012 while on tour with the Wallabies in Europe and then his second came playing in the 23-21 loss to the British and Irish Lions in Brisbane last year.

Last year's neck fracture against the Lions ended his season but he returned in 2014 and played for the Brumbies in the 2014 Super Rugby season.

"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 (it's) devastating that he won't play rugby again," said Larkham.

Saturday's 51-20 Rugby Championship loss to the All Blacks was McCabe's 24th cap for Australia.

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