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Thursday, August 13, 2009

Clyde Rathbone retires - Winning try vs the Springboks in 2004

Clyde Rathbone retires - Winning try vs the Springboks in 2004

Australian international Clyde Rathbone has called it on a day on his rugby career, sadly hanging up his boots at the tender age of just 28.

Rathbone, a South African born and raised, has had a terrible run of injuries since moving to his new homeland Australia. This past weekend he fractured his eye socket and cheekbone in a club match in Canberra, prompting him to call it a day.

"The injury happened after I decided but I guess it just solidified things. I'm not exactly sure what happened. I got hit in the ruck. It may have been a knee ... I hope it was accidental," Rathbone said on Wednesday.

Rathbone was brought up in Durban, and at a fairly young age was identified as a tremendous prospect. Playing at centre for the Sharks, he was mentioned as the next Danie Gerber, and went on to captain Jake White's South African side that won the U21 World Cup in 2002.

At the end of that year though, Rathbone turned his back on South Africa and chose to move to Australia, for which he qualified to play through a paternal Australian grandmother.

Vilified in the media as a traitor, the move was not a popular one, and 'Aussie Clyde' soon became a huge talking point. He was anything but tactful in his handling of the sensitive topic, but he had his reasons to leave, many of which are the same as why other South African's also leave their country of birth.

Rathbone went straight to the Brumbies, and later chose to represent Australia at international level. A stocky, extremely powerful runner, Rathbone made his debut for the Wallabies against Scotland in 2004, then scored a hatrick the following weekend against England.

It was in that year's Tri Nations that Clyde came under fire once again, as he scored this excellent winning try in Perth against his old country, with his celebration infuriating SA fans.

Rathbone's career promised so much, but he was unfortunately never able to stamp his authority on a regular Wallaby jersey, mainly due to his continual injury problems. He did however play 26 Tests, and 52 matches for the Brumbies.

For the last two years he's been attempting a proper comeback, but he's struggled, and has now called it a day on a career that could have been so different if it weren't for a poor string of luck.

"I've decided to hang up the boots, it's all over. I need to look after my long-term health and when I couldn't agree with any of the contracts that were in front of me for next year, I figured it would be best to step aside," Rathbone said.


Time: 04:29

Posted at 10:45 am | 35 comments

Viewing 35 comments

Anonymous August 13, 2009 12:50 pm

"Vilified in the media as a traitor, the move was not a popular one, and 'Aussie Clyde' soon became a huge talking point. He was anything but tactful in his handling of the sensitive topic, but he had his reasons to leave, many of which are the same as why other South African's also leave their country of birth."

Sorry mate but, isit possible to explain the whole situation?

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Anonymous August 13, 2009 12:53 pm

Jees, how many replays???!!

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cheyanqui August 13, 2009 1:21 pm

Clyde Rathbone retires?

That lead was almost as amusing as when I saw the headline

"Dolph Lundgren Retires from Acting"

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pingpongjon August 13, 2009 1:49 pm

Anonymous. I do not know clydes personal reasons but as a fellow southern african i imagine they would involve the crime in south africa. Generaly he would have moved for an overall better life in his opinion and to offer himself better opportunities.

South africans that reacted badly to his move should consider themselves idiots.

Everyone has thier choice in life to do what they deem best for themselves and thier family

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Scotsdale August 13, 2009 1:51 pm

Clyde left for much the same reasons that KP left for England.. crime, and then of course, quotas etc. Although I think in Clydes case it was more about crime, and wanting to be in a place him and his gf felt safe in.

Great try from jumbo legs. Pity he couldnt sustain that form (based on injury of course)

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Dave August 13, 2009 1:53 pm

pingpongjon, I agree, but I think in his case people disliked the move mainly because of the history - him being a great player, and captaining our u21 world cup winning side. If he were a nobody, we wouldnt have cared ie: Dan Vickerman :P

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Anonymous August 13, 2009 2:22 pm

Karma. I am not an Australian or South African, but representing a second country after you have repped your own is ridiculous and shameful. Rugby should not allow this to go on. I am speaking to Flutey too. You guys are dorks.

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pingpongjon August 13, 2009 4:40 pm

to annonymous who is not australian or south african.
What you are saying is bullshit.
Flutey and rathbone only repped thier contries at age group levels. How can you expect an 18 or 19 year old to know what thier future holds for them in thier sport, how could they make a decision so early in life?

The law is you can only play for other countries if you have not repped your own country at the highest international level and that makes sense.

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BoomShaka August 13, 2009 4:50 pm

A great player. Pity his career never took off like everyone expected, what potential he had.

His reasons for leaving SA were probably the same as most expats.

Sour grapes: the pass from Larkham to Rathbone in the try movement was forward. Larkham is behind (or maybe on) the SA 22 when he passes. Rathbone recieves the ball well inside the SA 22. :)

I'm South African.

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BoomShaka August 13, 2009 4:55 pm

@pingpongjon: its irrelevant of age.

I agree that ANY country representation in ANY sport should prevent a player from representing any other country in ANY other sport.

The problem with this is that richer countries can then identify and poach talent from the poorer countries.

For SA this is a big problem (and to a lesser extent Oz and NZ). Aus scouts already look for young talent at Craven Week (SA schools tounament).

On top of that SA clubs can't compete with salaries offered by NH clubs.
The depth of our local competitions begins to be eroded away, players who are just not good enough to make the Bok squad may leave for a better paycheck up north.
That in turn devalues our local competitions (currie cup stadiums STRUGGLE to get full), and devalues our rugby in general.

It's the nature of the professional game obviously...

:'(

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Manfred August 13, 2009 8:48 pm

you gotta love the 2004 rugby games

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bodisGOD August 13, 2009 10:08 pm

pingpongjon it's spelt their.

that is all

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Jonathan August 13, 2009 11:09 pm

I agree. Frank Bunce should never have been abe to play for the All Blacks.

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Anonymous August 14, 2009 12:31 am

I agree the rule on playing for 2 countries is stupid.
Just look at Lesley Vainikolo.
You'd have a hard time justifying his qualification to play for England when he played for 7 years for NZ in rugby league.
Ridiculous...

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Inside Shoulder August 14, 2009 12:53 am

Identity to any group, whether it be local or national is entirely self proclaimed.

I was brought up in The Netherlands with a dutch passport but after 15 years of living in England i've decided i feel far more english and i've rightly been allowed British citizenship. I binge drink, complain about the weather, enjoy queueing and sing the national anthem with pride. Assuming i was an rugby player at international level id be pretty pissed off that i could only play for holland.

Let Clyde, Lesley and Ricky do what they want. Regardless of ulterior motives if they say they feel identity to another nationality (impossible to prove that they are lying) and qualify for citizenship then all is good.

MY TWO CENTS

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Anonymous August 14, 2009 12:54 am

they need to change the rule for international rugby. the whole point of international rugby is to have actual people from that country

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Rockylamontagne August 14, 2009 2:05 am

It takes a brave man to run straight at (and through) Burger, Du Randt and JVN (is it?) I don't know why the focus is on nationality, well played Rathbone.

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jamestheconvict August 14, 2009 6:46 am

divisive bugger isn't he......

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pingpongjon August 14, 2009 6:48 am

bodisGOD NOT!

Thank you for correcting my spelling, rugbydump and the world at whole is now a better place...you winkie boy, what an idiot.

Boomshaka.. good point

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Shaft August 14, 2009 7:21 am

@ BoomShaka, the ball went backwards out of Larkham's hands, but drifted forwards due to momentum. Therefore, it's not a forward pass unfortunately.

If they were standing still, and the pass went to the same place, then yes, Larkham would have had to chuck it a mile forward, but in this case, it's not technically a forward pass.

It's a common mistake.

If you toss a ball up in the air out the car window, slightly backwards, it'll still land further ahead than where you passed it from. Same logic.

On the other topic.. it does suck when players play for a country other than their own, but at least it's not like it used to be, when they could represent more than one.. ie: Tiaan Strauss and Patricio Noreiga both playing for Aus after playing successful careers for SA and Argentina respectively.

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AndyMo August 14, 2009 7:41 am

Picked as captain for the U21 SA side and a shoe in for the national side (Jake W loved him and offered a contract) Rathbone went and followed the money.

Rathbone would soon boast (in an Aussie accent) to the Aus media that he didn't even know the SA anthem, after 21 years in this country.

Numerous cheap shots and aggression against SA players in his first couple of Aus-SA games - I suppose to show his new found allegiance??

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Anonymous August 14, 2009 10:31 am

'Just look at Lesley Vainikolo.
You'd have a hard time justifying his qualification to play for England when he played for 7 years for NZ in rugby league.
Ridiculous...'

espescially considering he was born in Tonga

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BoomShaka August 14, 2009 10:56 am

@Inside Shoulder: you didnt represent the Netherlands at any national level, so you are entitled to play for England (imo).

@shaft: if that is how it is defined in the IRB rulebook then so be it, I guess momentum may be a valid point.

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Anonymous August 14, 2009 12:02 pm

"it's rathbone against his countrymen" .. clyde you will always be a poes in my book

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Anonymous August 14, 2009 12:38 pm

Amazing how you get injury prone players:

Gav Henson
Wilkinson
Rathbone
Andre Pretorious

Anyways, can't stand Rathbone, glad he retired/didn't amount to much.

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Anonymous August 14, 2009 1:59 pm

clive who!?

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jp August 14, 2009 11:39 pm

Very good and strong player.
sorry he couldnt make a succesful career.this coming from a saffa.

OH...its a player wants to leave a country to play for another...SO FUCKING WHAT.you all are bitching like a bunch of teens

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Anonymous August 15, 2009 1:32 am

Dan Luger...most injury prone player ever!!

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Anonymous August 15, 2009 8:14 am

Clyde was free to leave - its the bitching about SA that pissed people off.

I bet the guys defending him here are all living abroad anyway.

I have yet to hear South Africans have issue with Vickerman, or Pieter de Villiers (the French prop) - if you leave, leave with dignity.

In any event, having Habana and JP as wings instead was a boon of note. :-)

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Anonymous August 15, 2009 3:07 pm

i heard rumours that rathbones grandmother got assaulted in her own home by robbers in sth africa. that wouldnt have done any favours in keeping him in the country. he was a mad player, when the brumbies were good they were amazing.

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Anonymous August 15, 2009 5:19 pm

TRAITOR!!! Guess when he left SA, he never did play much rugby - guess lack of biltong and braai's made him more prone to injury. Loved it when he played in SA as an oz- the crowed sure did hate him!!!

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Anonymous August 15, 2009 5:26 pm

LOL @ the above!

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Anonymous August 15, 2009 5:30 pm

Bet if Jake White said :if you stay I will make you a WORLD CHAMP one day...maybe, or maybe not - don't think he would have even made our WORLD CHAMP team - not good enough!!! Can't stand a player who plays for 2x countries, rugby is all about the love of your country - just look at the guys singing the anthems - enough said!!

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Anonymous August 16, 2009 2:19 pm

I was sorry to see Rathbone leave SA to play for Australia,but I respect him because he was honest about it,but I am not so sure about "KP" I his reasons are alittle bit spurious.

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Anonymous August 19, 2009 9:57 am

''I agree the rule on playing for 2 countries is stupid.
Just look at Lesley Vainikolo.
You'd have a hard time justifying his qualification to play for England when he played for 7 years for NZ in rugby league.
Ridiculous...''

I hardly think NZ are free from flak with this one as the guy is from one of the pacific islands, or NZ rugby harvesting grounds as they are also known. At least he'd been living in the UK for a decent period of time and it was cross codes.

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