Wallabies back Pat McCabe says he's lucky to walk away from the game after suffering a third neck injury.
The 26-year-old has been forced to retire from rugby after fracturing his C1 vertebrae during Saturday's 51-20 loss to the All Blacks.
According to the Canberra Times, McCabe shed tears when he told his parents and girlfriend he was quitting the sport, but admitted the decision hadn't completely sunk in.
'It's shattering thinking I'll never play for the Wallabies or the Brumbies again. But it wasn't a particularly hard decision in the end. I realise how fortunate I am,' McCabe said.
'When I get out of the neck brace I will have no ongoing issues, I'll live a normal life. There are a hell of a lot of people who have it worse than me. Yes, I'm disappointed. But I'm lucky to be able to walk away from the game after three serious injuries in tact. It's a blessing.
'I was never the biggest, strongest or fastest in any team I played … I just worked hard and got the most out of my limited potential. I walk away knowing I did the best I possibly could. I wouldn't do anything differently.'
McCabe, who will spend the next two months in a neck brace, still has one year remaining on his Brumbies contract and will work with the franchise next season in an off-field role. But he will also turn his attention to his commerce/law degree and starting life after rugby.
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