The rugby career of Brumbies and Wallabies player Pat McCabe is over after another neck fracture was confirmed by a specialist in Sydney on Tuesday.
The 26-year old fractured his neck for the third time in the Wallabies' loss to the All Blacks last weekend; the specialist confirmed the initial fracture diagnosis and "strongly suggested never to play again", Brumbies coach Stephen Larkham said.
McCabe will meet with Wallabies doctor Warren McDonald today before making an official decision, but Larkham told ABC radio that McCabe had "made the decision he's not going to play again".
It's a devastating blow for one of world rugby's toughest players, having defied the odds to come back from two career-threatening neck injuries and fearing his career was over when he suffered another knock earlier this year.
"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 preseason, 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, so really devastating news for Patty and for his family."
"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 devastating that he won't play rugby again."
McCabe had a year left on his contract with the Brumbies.