Wallabies coach Michael Cheika has revealed that veteran back-row Wycliff Palu has retired from international rugby, as he prepares for a Japanese season.
Palu wasn’t even supposed to be playing in Australia this season, after signing a two-year deal with Japanese top League side Toyota Verblitz, but injury brought him back to the Waratahs and gave him the chance to add another Test to his Wallabies tally.
The 34-year-old, who played in 58 Tests, has had a rollercoaster run with injury in recent years, with a hamstring problem ending his 2015 Rugby World Cup campaign prematurely, before his eventual return to Super Rugby for a Waratahs swansong this season.
He told Cheika of his decision to retire in the wake of the 3-0 England series loss, happy to keep the decision out of the public spotlight.
Cheika was quick to laud the number eight for his service to the Wallabies, in revealing the news on Friday.
“He came and spoke to me after the series on him moving on and retiring from international rugby,” he told the Australian Rugby Union’s official website.
“He doesn’t want any noise about this stuff.
“He’s one of the greatest servants we have, he’s done so much for Australian rugby, he shouldn’t be shifting out the side door to Japan.
“He’s been one of the great players I’ve coached not only because of the way he plays the game but his attitude towards the team and what he does for the team, all class and always understated.”