McCabe pens new Brumbies deal

Date published: May 21 2013

Wallabies inside centre Pat McCabe has signed a new two-year deal with the Australian Rugby Union and the Brumbies.

Wallabies inside centre Pat McCabe has signed a new two-year deal with the Australian Rugby Union and the Brumbies.

McCabe, who has represented his country in 19 Tests, signed the contract which will take him through until the end of the 2015 Rugby World Cup in England.

In doing so, McCabe joins fellow Wallabies James Horwill, Scott Higginbotham, Adam Ashley-Cooper, Sekope Kepu, Ben McCalman, Ben Alexander, Stephen Moore and Luke Burgess who have all recently recommitted to Australian Rugby in the lead-up to that tournament.

Burgess is due to return to Australia next month, after a two-year stint with leading club Toulouse in the Top 14.

A member of the Australian squad which finished third in New Zealand two years ago, McCabe acknowledged that the opportunity of attending his second World Cup did provide an incentive to stay put.

“It is good to see that the core of the current Wallaby group is staying in Australia until the next World Cup,” he said.

“That bodes well. If you look at previous winners of that tournament, like the All Blacks last time; they had a team that had played together for a long time. England in 2003 and South Africa in 2007 were the same.

“That continuity, which helped all of those sides, is something we will hopefully have with the Wallabies.”

McCabe made his Super Rugby debut for the Brumbies in 2010, featuring in all 13 matches played by the side that term, before then going on to win selection for the Wallabies later that season.

He made his Test debut against Italy at Florence on the 2010 end-of-year tour, cementing a regular position in the midfield for the Test side the following year.

Last year saw McCabe involved in the senior player group within the team.

“I've had a great time,” McCabe said of his Wallabies career.

“It's been a privilege to wear the gold jersey and represent the country. One aspect of the team in the last couple of years is that most of the players have been of a similar age, so we've learnt together while having some great experiences.”

Well settled at the Brumbies, McCabe made a pleasing return from the neck injury he sustained playing against France in Paris, which forced him home from last year's end-of-year tour.

“It was unsettling at the time, because it sounded ominous, but the rehab went really well, the medical staff were very cautious, and I've had no issues with it since I've been back playing for the Brumbies,” the 25-year-old added.

“I've had plenty of contact and have full confidence that it has healed up entirely, otherwise I wouldn't be back out there.”

While a knee injury, sustained during last Saturday's Super Rugby match between the Brumbies and the Waratahs, has disrupted his playing return, McCabe is not expected to be sidelined for long and could yet take one of the last places in the Wallabies squad for the series.

The final six positions in that squad will be named on June 11 after Super Rugby has entered hibernation for the June Test break.