Sport Union Captain Ben Mowen to quit Australian rugby

Captain Ben Mowen to quit Australian rugby

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Wallabies captain Ben Mowen is to quit Australian rugby at the end of the 2014 season.

Mowen, 29, has decided to move to Europe, ruling him out of the 2015 World Cup.

The move will come as a massive blow for the Australian Rugby Union and Wallabies coach Ewen McKenzie who installed Mowen as national skipper in his debut season for the Wallabies last year, replacing incumbent James Horwill.

Brumbies skipper Mowen reportedly wants to put his family first, and the heavy travel schedule involved in Super Rugby and with the Wallabies had him missing time with his wife Lauren and daughter Eleanor.

He is believed to be negotiating a deal in French club rugby.

Mowen spent almost seven months away from his family in a hectic 2013, which included a Super Rugby finals campaign, a British and Irish Lions series and six-week spring tour of Europe.

“It’s the hardest decision of my career and I flipped 100 different ways trying to figure out which way I was going to go,” Mowen told Fairfax Media.

“But being away for so long, it was a bridge too far. It’s time to put my family first, that’s the most important thing.

“I’m extremely thankful for the opportunities I’ve had, but the reality is it is time to put my family first and have quality time together.”