CONFIRMED: Bok flyhalf retires with immediate effect
NEWS: Springbok flyhalf Pat Lambie is retiring from rugby with immediate effect.
Racing 92 President Jacky Lorenzetti confirmed the news in a statement on the club’s official website.
“We understand his decision, made by mutual agreement, but we regret that such a genius of the game is forced to come to this end,” said Lorenzetti.
“Patrick is a huge champion….as elegant on the field as outside. At the club, we all had a sincere and friendly relationship with him, astonished by his desire to integrate. His French teacher could testify, as well as his coaches, to his involvement and his seriousness on a daily basis.
“But the will is unfortunately not everything. Patrick suffered several injuries. Racing and in particular its medical service have done everything to ensure that he is welcomed in the best conditions and that he can express his immense versatile three-quarter qualities.
“He has repeatedly proved that he was one of those rare players who know how to spark. It’s no coincidence that he led the Springbok attack 56 times.
“Today we are sad and disappointed but we know that with his human qualities and strong support around him, Patrick will bounce back to a new life. We wish him all the success he deserves for the future.”
The Racing 92 player hasn’t played since injuring himself in the Champions Cup final defeat to Leinster last May, when he suffered a knee injury. However, that’s not the reason for hanging up his boots.
Reports in Midi Olympique on Friday suggested the after-effects of concussion is the reason for the 28-year-old retiring.
He was expected to be out for an elongated period after sustaining an ACL injury in May, but speaking to RugbyPass at the time Lambie was plotting his return back when asked whether his season was over.
“It looks like it yes, like I said the diagnosis isn’t great, I have to wait and see after the MRI scans and we’ll take it from there, but by the sounds of things I won’t be playing for a month or for a few months. The speculation is that I have done my ACL ligament, that is six to nine months I guess.
“It is a long road of recovery, but it is not the end, I will be back, exactly when I am not sure.”
His last appearance for South Africa was a 13-27 defeat at Cardiff in November 2016, but his first concussion happened earlier that year in a June test when he collided with Ireland flanker CJ Stander, a challenge which earned the South African-born forward a red card.
The former Sharks player also missed a chunk of the Super Rugby season following a head blow against the Kings in May 2017.
Lambie also sustained a fractured eye socket playing for Racing 92 in their Top 14 match with Oyonnax in January 2018, but his club said at the time he’d not suffered concussion from it.
He remained eligible for the Springboks as an overseas-based player because he meets the established 30-cap minimum threshold and the news will be a big blow to head coach Rassie Erasmus ahead of the World Cup later this year. Lambie would have most certainly have been vying for the 10 jersey with Handre Pollard and Elton Jantjies, while his versatility meant he could also operate at fullback.
— Racing 92 (@racing92) January 19, 2019
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