Former Sharks and EP Elephants flyhalf Inny Radebe has confirmed that he will be calling time on his rugby career. DYLAN JACK reports.
Radebe had been playing for and captaining the EP Elephants during the Preparation Series, but was among a host of senior players – including Courtney Winnaar, Christopher Hollis and Athi Mayinje – to leave the union after their contracts were not extended.
The 26-year-old had made an inspiring return to the field after spending the previous three years in the rugby wilderness. He suffered a broken hand during the team’s opening Preparation Series match against the Bulls at Loftus Versfeld, but recovered in time to lead the Elephants against the Cheetahs.
Radebe then started for the 25-man Invitation squad that claimed a stunning victory over the Cheetahs in a friendly match in Bloemfontein and was last pictured playing for College Rovers after leaving the Elephants.
However, SARugbymag.co.za learned on Thursday that Radebe, who had been linked with a move to Western Province, has decided to retire from professional rugby.
The player himself told this website back in January that he saw his move to Eastern Province as a ‘make or break’ for his rugby career after a few difficult years.
“I really do see this as a make or break,” Radebe told SARugbymag.co.za after joining the Elephants. “It’s going to be my last caution to the wind. I am going to throw everything at it. Whatever comes of it is obviously meant to be.”
It had been a tumultuous couple of years for the former Sharks player, who found himself in the rugby wilderness after being released by the Durban side in 2018.
Towards the end of last year, Radebe trained with the Springbok Sevens team hoping he could prove his worth, but struggled to adapt to the high intensity of the team’s training.
Of course, there will be plenty of debate as to whether a player of Radebe was best served by the South Africa rugby system, given the immense potential he showed as a youngster in the Lions youth structures.
Nevertheless, it is an incredibly brave call, but it is one that the player himself appears at peace with, given that his struggle to resurrect his professional career just hasn’t worked out.
Photo: Michael Green