Racing 92 have confirmed that Pat Lambie is retiring from rugby with immediate effect.
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 yesterday 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 exclusively to RugbyPass at the time Lambie was plotting his return back, when asked whether his season was over.
— Racing 92 (@racing92) January 19, 2019
“It looks like it yes, like I said the diagnosis isn’t great, I have to wait and see after the MRI scans on Monday 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 27-13 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 backrow a red card.
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 full-back.
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