Third fracture forces McCabe to retire

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - JUNE 14: Pat McCabe of the Wallabies nurses an injured shoulder after the second International Test Match between the Australian Wallabies and France at Etihad Stadium on June 14, 2014 in Melbourne, Australia.  (Photo by Mark Nolan/Getty Images) Photo: Mark Nolan
MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - JUNE 14: Pat McCabe of the Wallabies nurses an injured shoulder after the second International Test Match between the Australian Wallabies and France at Etihad Stadium on June 14, 2014 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Mark Nolan/Getty Images) Photo: Mark Nolan
Wallaby Pat McCabe returns from New Zealand with an injured neck on Sunday, Photo: Getty Images/Michele Mossop

Wallaby Pat McCabe returns from New Zealand with an injured neck on Sunday, Photo: Getty Images/Michele Mossop

Pat McCabe's rugby career over after third neck injury

Pat McCabe's rugby career over after third neck injury

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - AUGUST 16: Pat McCabe of the Wallabies looks on during The Rugby Championship match between the Australian Wallabies and the New Zealand All Blacks at ANZ Stadium on August 16, 2014 in Sydney, Australia.  (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images) Photo: Cameron Spencer

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - AUGUST 16: Pat McCabe of the Wallabies looks on during The Rugby Championship match between the Australian Wallabies and the New Zealand All Blacks at ANZ Stadium on August 16, 2014 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images) Photo: Cameron Spencer

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.

This story Third fracture forces McCabe to retire first appeared on The Sydney Morning Herald.