Sydney University Football Club (SUFC) representative and former SUSF Elite Athlete Program (EAP) scholarship holder Dan Vickerman today announced his retirement from rugby.
A veteran of three Rugby World Cups, the 33-year-old, 203cm second rower played 63 Tests for Australia since making his debut against France in 2002 and represented the HSBC Waratahs on 53 occasions between 2004 and 2011, most recently against the Brumbies, 14 months ago.
Despite making an iconic return to international rugby in 2011, his first since the 2008 Tri-Nations campaign, Vickerman has since been unable to recover from a lower leg injury suffered earlier in his career.
His injury, a stress fracture to the anterior cortex of his right tibia, is known as one of the most difficult stress fractures to manage and forced him to miss the entire 2012 Super Rugby season. His decision to retire from all forms of the game comes after a lengthy and ultimately unsuccessful rehabilitation period that has seen him, working with the HSBC Waratahs and Wallabies’ medical teams, exhaust all possible surgical and non-surgical treatment options, including the insertion and removal of a metal rod from his lower leg.
“Having battled injury for the last while, it is disappointing that I have to call it a day on my playing days,” Vickerman said today. “But in saying that I have been extremely fortunate throughout my career to have played for the teams I have.”
“To have had the privilege to represent my country is something I have never taken for granted and each game I have played in has been special,” he added.
“I would like to thank all involved at Sydney University Rugby Club where it started for me in 1999, and those at the Brumbies, HSBC Waratahs and Wallabies. Rugby is a game in which you never stop learning and all the coaches and strength and conditioning team members I have had throughout my career have been fantastic to work with, so for that I would like to thank them all.”
“The medical staff that have helped me over the years, in particular this year with the injury I have had, are owed a massive thank you. I would also like to thank all of the management and media staff for all their help off the field which certainly makes the job of preparing to play a lot easier.”
“Finally and most of all, I would like to thank all of my team mates I have had the privilege of playing with over the years. Rugby is a great team game and the mates you play with are the ones that make the journey so special. That is part of the game I will really miss.”