France

Chabal finally hangs up his boots

Tue, 06 May 2014 07:07
Sebastien-chabal
One of the best paid rugby players in France
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Iconic former French international Sebastien Chabal, popularly known as the "Caveman", has announced that he will retire from rugby next weekend.

The 36-year-old Chabal won 62 caps for France as a powerhouse lock and loose forward, and his last act will come on Sunday when he turns out a final time for Lyon, his current club which he has helped seal promotion from the ProD2 to the Top 14.

"On Sunday I will call a halt to my career as a rugby player and a high-level sportsman," Chabal said.

"I realise how lucky I've been, and to have the opportunity to call it a day with a title and finish the mission for which I came: helping Lyon win promotion."

Chabal, standing 1.91 metres (6ft 3in) tall and weighing 115 kg, became a cult figure in rugby circles with his barn-storming style of play allied with his thick black beard and flowing locks.

It allowed the forward to become one of the best paid rugby players in France thanks to lucrative commercial contracts that played on his on-field reputation and shaggy look.

Chabal played for Bourgoin (1998-2004) and English club Sale (2004-2009) before switching to Racing Metro in 2009 and then moving on to Lyon in 2012.

He played in two Six Nations-winning French sides in 2007 and 2010, and was an English Premiership winner in 2005 at Sale.

Such was Chabal's international draw, he even made a one-game cameo for minor Australian club side Balmain against Petersham in 2012 as a curtain-raiser to a Waratahs v Reds Super Rugby game.

AFP

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