The Brumbies have watered down head coach Stephen Larkham’s comments that hardman Pat McCabe has retired, saying the 26-year-old’s playing future hinges on a meeting with the Wallabies’ doctor.
McCabe fractured his neck in the Wallabies’ 51-20 loss to the All Blacks at Eden Park on Saturday, with Larkham telling ABC radio on Wednesday morning the 24-Test winger had decided to hang up his boots after consulting with a specialist.
“Pat has made the decision he’s not going to play again,” Larkham said.
“The good thing is he’s in a neck brace at the moment … and the neck should heal up fine, but devastating that he won’t play rugby again.”
However in a bizarre twist, the Brumbies quickly played down their head coach’s comments, sending out a clarification on Twitter just hours later.
“Contrary to reports Pat McCabe has not yet retired. Pat has a meeting with (Wallabies doctor) Warren McDonald today, statement coming Thursday, not before.”
Dubbed Super Rugby’s version of “Chuck Norris”, McCabe fought back from a second broken neck suffered in a Test against the British and Irish Lions last year to reach career best form in 2014.
“Pat has had a number of good years at the Brumbies, I really thought this year was his best year in terms of performance,” Larkham said.
“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 and I thought things were up and up for him from here.”