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Lipman quits for his health

Date

Stathi Paxinos

Rebel with a cause: Michael Lipman calls time.

Rebel with a cause: Michael Lipman calls time. Photo: Getty Images

WORSENING side-effects from concussion have forced gutsy Melbourne Rebels breakaway Michael Lipman to immediately retire because of fears of what his life might become if he suffered one more knock to the head.

Lipman, one of the Rebels' best players in their inaugural season last year, shocked teammates yesterday afternoon with his decision, which has come as a result of lingering side-effects from a concussion earlier this season - the latest of what he estimated to be more than 30 cases throughout his career.

''The bottom line is that throughout my career I've had so many bangs to the head and I've had so much concussion … the last couple have been the icing on the cake,'' Lipman said.

''I've just had too many. Enough's enough and when you're body's talking to you like it is now, you've got to listen to it and be sensible because the hardest thing in anything really is to admit that your time is up and to come to terms with it.''

The 32-year-old, who yesterday revealed he went against medical advice to retire in 2009 when playing for English club Bath because of concerns about his concussions, said the side effects had become too debilitating for him to play on.

''It [headache] is always there and you can feel the pressure in your head and when you start running and training it makes it a lot worse,'' said Lipman, who was off contract this season.

''You're just very confused really, and you're hazy and you're very clouded and not many things make sense.

''You just become very, very tired. You become exhausted straight away and you feel like going to sleep, when it should really be the opposite, because when you start working and training, the endorphins release and you get a pick-up. You shouldn't get totally down the way I've been.''

The Rebels are expected to make an official announcement on Lipman's retirement this morning.

Lipman was born in London, but grew up in Sydney and made the Australian under-21 team. However, he played 10 Tests for England.

The concussion and a back injury have limited Lipman's playing time this year, but the open-side breakaway will be remembered for his impressive form last season when, along with Gareth Delve and Jarrod Saffy, he formed a formidable back row in a struggling team.

''I'll miss the whole spectacle and running out to thousands of people, and I'll miss playing with my mates, and I'll miss the banter but, most of all, I'll just miss measuring myself against the best players and learning a lot about yourself,'' Lipman said. ''That's the ultimate challenge, but now I've got a new challenge, so I'm to put everything into that.

''I've been very lucky to have the career that I've had. I've travelled around the world and met such a great network of people but, at the end of the day, I'd like to have a healthy life. There is life after rugby. I'm just really looking forward to the next chapter in my life.''

Lipman also said he wanted to speak about the issues and concerns that he has faced with concussion because it could help other players, and not only those in rugby union.

''There are loads of things going on with concussion at the moment, and it is such a huge aspect in rugby as well as AFL, but the side effects are unknown,'' Lipman said.

''Everyone's getting bigger, stronger and faster, [but] the brain's the brain, if you drop a computer that many times eventually it's not going to turn back on.''

Rugby World Cup 2015

Round 1
Sat, 19 SepTimes shown AEST
ENG 0vs FJI 0 05:00Twic
TGA 0vs GEO 0 21:00Kholm
IRE 0vs CAN 0 23:30MilS
Sun, 20 SepTimes shown AEST
SAF 0vs JPN 0 01:45Brig
FRA 0vs ITA 0 05:00Twic
SAM 0vs USA 0 21:00Brig
WAL 0vs URU 0 23:30MilS
Mon, 21 SepTimes shown AEST
NZL 0vs ARG 0 01:45Wemb
Wed, 23 SepTimes shown AEST
SCO 0vs JPN 0 23:30Kholm
Thu, 24 SepTimes shown AEST
AUS 0vs FJI 0 01:45MilS
FRA 0vs ROM 0 05:00The Stadium, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park
Fri, 25 SepTimes shown AEST
NZL 0vs NAM 0 05:00The Stadium, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park
Sat, 26 SepTimes shown AEST
ARG 0vs GEO 0 01:45Kholm
ITA 0vs CAN 0 23:30Ella
Sun, 27 SepTimes shown AEST
SAF 0vs SAM 0 01:45Villa
ENG 0vs WAL 0 05:00Twic
AUS 0vs URU 0 21:00Villa
SCO 0vs USA 0 23:30Ella
Mon, 28 SepTimes shown AEST
IRE 0vs ROM 0 01:45Wemb
Wed, 30 SepTimes shown AEST
TGA 0vs NAM 0 01:45Sand
Fri, 02 OctTimes shown AEST
WAL 0vs FJI 0 01:45MilS
FRA 0vs CAN 0 05:00stadium:mk
Sat, 03 OctTimes shown AEST
NZL 0vs GEO 0 05:00MilS
SAM 0vs JPN 0 23:30stadium:mk
Sun, 04 OctTimes shown AEST
SAF 0vs SCO 0 01:45St James' Park
ENG 0vs AUS 0 06:00Twic
Mon, 05 OctTimes shown AEDT
ARG 0vs TGA 0 00:30KPS
IRE 0vs ITA 0 02:45The Stadium, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park
Wed, 07 OctTimes shown AEDT
CAN 0vs ROM 0 02:45KPS
FJI 0vs URU 0 06:00stadium:mk
Thu, 08 OctTimes shown AEDT
SAF 0vs USA 0 02:45The Stadium, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park
NAM 0vs GEO 0 06:00Sand
Sat, 10 OctTimes shown AEDT
NZL 0vs TGA 0 06:00St James' Park
Sun, 11 OctTimes shown AEDT
SAM 0vs SCO 0 00:30St James' Park
AUS 0vs WAL 0 02:45Twic
ENG 0vs URU 0 06:00Manch
ARG 0vs NAM 0 22:00KPS
Mon, 12 OctTimes shown AEDT
ITA 0vs ROM 0 00:30Sand
FRA 0vs IRE 0 02:45MilS
USA 0vs JPN 0 06:00Kholm
View All Fixtures
Round 2
Sun, 18 OctTimes shown AEDT
WinB 0vs RUpA 0 02:00Twic
WinC 0vs RUpD 0 06:00MilS
WinD 0vs RUpC 0 23:00MilS
Mon, 19 OctTimes shown AEDT
WinA 0vs RUpB 0 02:00Twic
Sun, 25 OctTimes shown AEDT
WQF1 0vs WQF2 0 02:00Twic
Mon, 26 OctTimes shown AEDT
WQF3 0vs WQF4 0 03:00Twic
Sat, 31 OctTimes shown AEDT
LSF1 0vs LSF2 0 07:00The Stadium, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park
Sun, 01 NovTimes shown AEDT
WSF1 0vs WSF2 0 03:00Twic
View All Fixtures
Rugby World Cup 2015
Overall standings
Team P W L D +/- Pts
France 0 0 0 0 0 0
New Zealand 0 0 0 0 0 0
Canada 0 0 0 0 0 0
Tonga 0 0 0 0 0 0
Japan 0 0 0 0 0 0
View all
Rugby World Cup 2015
Overall standings
Team P W L D +/- Pts
Romania 0 0 0 0 0 0
Argentina 0 0 0 0 0 0
England 0 0 0 0 0 0
Georgia 0 0 0 0 0 0
Scotland 0 0 0 0 0 0
View all
Rugby World Cup 2015
Overall standings
Team P W L D +/- Pts
Australia 0 0 0 0 0 0
USA 0 0 0 0 0 0
Italy 0 0 0 0 0 0
Ireland 0 0 0 0 0 0
View all
Rugby World Cup 2015
Overall standings
Team P W L D +/- Pts
Fiji 0 0 0 0 0 0
Samoa 0 0 0 0 0 0
Namibia 0 0 0 0 0 0
South Africa 0 0 0 0 0 0
Wales 0 0 0 0 0 0
View all
 

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