JavaScript disabled. Please enable JavaScript to use My News, My Clippings, My Comments and user settings.

If you have trouble accessing our login form below, you can go to our login page.

If you have trouble accessing our login form below, you can go to our login page.

Pat McCabe back in Wallabies starting side after overcoming horror injury run

Back in the fold: Pat McCabe will face New Zealand.

Back in the fold: Pat McCabe will face New Zealand. Photo: Getty Images

When Pat McCabe recalls the blow to his neck when playing for the Brumbies against the Force in March, he admits he was scared his career was over.

As McCabe said on Tuesday after being named in the starting Wallabies side to play the All Blacks at ANZ Stadium on Saturday, the pain was similar to the second time he broke his neck – during last year’s British and Irish Lions series.

Asked how he fought the nerves of playing in contact after that second break – the first having occurred on the Wallabies 2012 spring tour of Europe – McCabe said: “It’s obviously nervous. My real scare came against the Force … I had a similar pain to when I had broken it the second time. I got rushed to hospital and scanned.”

But McCabe, 26, not only recovered from a knock that, thankfully, was not as serious as first feared, he went on to play impressively for the Brumbies all year.

So impressively, he earned two Wallabies caps off the bench against France in the Brisbane and Melbourne Tests in June, before Tuesday’s step up to being selected on the wing for the Wallabies run-on XV for the Bledisloe Cup opener.

McCabe, who has not started for the Wallabies since they lost to France in November, 2012, looks back on his scare in March as a turning point.

“Getting through that big knock and realising that it was fine was a huge confidence booster,” he said.

“The games following were probably some of my best for the year.

“Getting over that real testing moment and coming out fine … it’s a long way from my mind now. You play your 16 games of Super Rugby and it gets pretty well tested week in, week out. It’s feeling good now and, touch wood, I won’t have any worries.”

However, McCabe, who is three quarters through studying for a law degree at the University of Southern Queensland, said there had been times when he feared his playing career would never reach the heights it has.

“There were a few times where I had scans where if the injury didn’t heal as [doctors] needed it to, it would have been the end," he said.

“There were a few nervous moments amongst that, but each of the times after the healing period, it recovered well. From that you just have to trust the medical advice.

“They were confident that it had healed well enough to get back out there. Here I am.”

The experience has also helped him appreciate opportunity, the latest being to play against the All Blacks for the fifth time of his career, and in a Wallabies back three with fellow winger Rob Horne and full-back Israel Folau – both from the Waratahs.

McCabe has played four games against the All Blacks, with one win, one draw and two losses. “You always come out – obviously exhausted, but thoroughly tested," he said. "Every aspect of your game gets challenged.”

Whatever the result, McCabe said he was grateful to be playing: “I’ve learnt to enjoy the highs, but you realise the lows are never too far away.

"You take those moments, take them with a grain of salt – enjoy them for what they are and enjoy the occasion.”

1 comment so far

  • Amazing. One of the best ball runners in the Brumbies stable can't get a start because of another Wests player, yet is selected in the Wallabies starting side. Glad Link can see Pat for what he is.

    Commenter
    Chin
    Location
    Canberra
    Date and time
    August 13, 2014, 11:53AM

    Make a comment

    You are logged in as [Logout]

    All information entered below may be published.

    Error: Please enter your screen name.

    Error: Your Screen Name must be less than 255 characters.

    Error: Your Location must be less than 255 characters.

    Error: Please enter your comment.

    Error: Your Message must be less than 300 words.

    Post to

    You need to have read and accepted the Conditions of Use.

    Thank you

    Your comment has been submitted for approval.

    Comments are moderated and are generally published if they are on-topic and not abusive.

    Super Rugby 2015

    Round 1
    Fri, 13 FebTimes shown AEDT
    CRU 10 vs REB 20 Report Stats
    BRU 47 vs RED 3 Stats
    Sat, 14 FebTimes shown AEDT
    LIO 8 vs HUR 22 Report Stats
    BLU 18 vs CHF 23 Report Stats
    Sun, 15 FebTimes shown AEDT
    SHA 29 vs CHT 35 Report Stats
    BUL 17 vs STO 29 Report Stats
    WAR 13 vs FOR 25 Stats
    View All Fixtures
    Round 2
    Fri, 20 FebTimes shown AEDT
    CHF 19 vs BRU 17 Report Stats
    REB 28 vs WAR 38 Report Stats
    Sat, 21 FebTimes shown AEDT
    BUL 13 vs HUR 17 Report Stats
    HIG 20 vs CRU 26 Report Stats
    RED 18 vs FOR 6 Report Stats
    Sun, 22 FebTimes shown AEDT
    STO 27 vs BLU 16 Report Stats
    SHA 29 vs LIO 12 Report Stats
    View All Fixtures
    Round 3
    Fri, 27 FebTimes shown AEDT
    HIG 20 vs RED 13 Report Stats
    FOR 13 vs HUR 42 Stats
    Sat, 28 FebTimes shown AEDT
    CHT 25 vs BLU 24 Report Stats
    CHF 40 vs CRU 16 Stats
    REB 15 vs BRU 20 Report Stats
    Sun, 01 MarTimes shown AEDT
    BUL 43 vs SHA 35 Report Stats
    LIO 19 vs STO 22 Report Stats
    View All Fixtures
    Round 4
    Fri, 06 MarTimes shown AEDT
    CHF 17 vs HIG 20 Report Stats
    BRU 27 vs FOR 15 Report Stats
    Sat, 07 MarTimes shown AEDT
    BLU 10 vs LIO 13 Report Stats
    RED 5 vs WAR 23 Report Stats
    Sun, 08 MarTimes shown AEDT
    CHT 20 vs BUL 39 Report Stats
    STO 29 vs SHA 13 Report Stats
    View All Fixtures
    Round 5
    Fri, 13 MarTimes shown AEDT
    HUR 30 vs BLU 23 Report Stats
    FOR 17 vs REB 21 Report Stats
    Sat, 14 MarTimes shown AEDT
    CRU 34 vs LIO 6 Report Stats
    HIG 26 vs WAR 19 Report Stats
    RED vs BRU 29 Stats
    Sun, 15 MarTimes shown AEDT
    STO 19 vs CHF 28 Report Stats
    CHT 10 vs SHA 27 Report Stats
    View All Fixtures
    Round 6
    Fri, 20 MarTimes shown AEDT
    HIG 13 vs HUR 20 Report Stats
    REB 16 vs LIO 20 Report Stats
    Sat, 21 MarTimes shown AEDT
    CRU 57 vs CHT 14 Report Stats
    Sun, 22 MarTimes shown AEDT
    BUL 25 vs FOR 24 Report Stats
    SHA 12 vs CHF 11 Report Stats
    WAR 28 vs BRU 13 Report Stats
    View All Fixtures
    Round 7
    Fri, 27 MarTimes shown AEDT
    HUR 36 vs REB 12 Report Stats
    RED 17 vs LIO 18 Report Stats
    Sat, 28 MarTimes shown AEDT
    CHF 37 vs CHT 27 Report Stats
    HIG 39 vs STO 21 Report Stats
    WAR 23 vs BLU 11 Report Stats
    Sun, 29 MarTimes shown AEDT
    SHA 15 vs FOR 9 Report Stats
    BUL 31 vs CRU 19 Report Stats
    View All Fixtures
    Round 8
    Fri, 03 AprTimes shown AEDT
    HUR vs STO 18:35WS
    REB vs RED 20:40AAMI
    Sat, 04 AprTimes shown AEDT
    CHF vs BLU 18:35WS
    BRU vs CHT 20:40GIO Stadium
    Sun, 05 AprTimes shown AEDT
    SHA vs CRU 01:00Growthpoint Kings Park
    LIO vs BUL 02:05Emirates Airlines Park
    View All Fixtures
    Round 9
    Fri, 10 AprTimes shown AEST
    BLU vs BRU 18:35EP
    Sat, 11 AprTimes shown AEST
    CRU vs HIG 18:35AMI
    WAR vs STO 20:40AS
    FOR vs CHT 22:45nib Stadium
    Sun, 12 AprTimes shown AEST
    LIO vs SHA 02:05Emirates Airlines Park
    BUL vs RED 04:10Loftus Versfeld
    View All Fixtures
    Round 10
    Fri, 17 AprTimes shown AEST
    CRU vs CHF 18:35AMI
    Sat, 18 AprTimes shown AEST
    HUR vs WAR 15:30WS
    HIG vs BLU 18:35FBS
    BRU vs REB 20:40GIO Stadium
    FOR vs STO 22:45nib Stadium
    Sun, 19 AprTimes shown AEST
    SHA vs BUL 02:05Growthpoint Kings Park
    CHT vs RED 04:10FSS
    View All Fixtures
    Round 11
    Fri, 24 AprTimes shown AEST
    CHF vs FOR 18:35WS
    BRU vs HIG 20:40GIO Stadium
    Sat, 25 AprTimes shown AEST
    CRU vs BLU 18:35AMI
    WAR vs REB 20:40ANZ
    Sun, 26 AprTimes shown AEST
    LIO vs CHT 02:05Emirates Airlines Park
    STO vs BUL 04:10DHL Newlands
    RED vs HUR 17:05SS
    View All Fixtures
    Round 12
    Fri, 01 MayTimes shown AEST
    HIG vs SHA 18:35FBS
    BRU vs WAR 20:40GIO Stadium
    Sat, 02 MayTimes shown AEST
    BLU vs FOR 16:30EP
    HUR vs CRU 18:35WS
    REB vs CHF 20:40AAMI
    Sun, 03 MayTimes shown AEST
    CHT vs STO 02:05FSS
    BUL vs LIO 04:10Loftus Versfeld
    View All Fixtures
    Round 13
    Fri, 08 MayTimes shown AEST
    CRU vs RED 18:35AMI
    REB vs BLU 20:40AAMI
    Sat, 09 MayTimes shown AEST
    HUR vs SHA 18:35WS
    FOR vs WAR 20:40nib Stadium
    Sun, 10 MayTimes shown AEST
    LIO vs HIG 00:00Emirates Airlines Park
    STO vs BRU 02:05DHL Newlands
    View All Fixtures
    Round 14
    Fri, 15 MayTimes shown AEST
    BLU vs BUL 18:35EP
    RED vs REB 20:40SS
    Sat, 16 MayTimes shown AEST
    HUR vs CHF 18:35WS
    WAR vs SHA 20:40AS
    Sun, 17 MayTimes shown AEST
    LIO vs BRU 02:05Emirates Airlines Park
    CHT vs HIG 04:10FSS
    View All Fixtures
    Round 15
    Fri, 22 MayTimes shown AEST
    CHF vs BUL 18:35Rotorua International Stadium
    RED vs SHA 20:40SS
    Sat, 23 MayTimes shown AEST
    BLU vs HUR 18:35Emirates Airlines Park
    WAR vs CRU 20:40ANZ
    FOR vs HIG 22:45nib Stadium
    Sun, 24 MayTimes shown AEST
    CHT vs LIO 02:05FSS
    STO vs REB 04:10DHL Newlands
    View All Fixtures
    Round 16
    Fri, 29 MayTimes shown AEST
    CRU vs HUR 18:35Trafalgar Park
    BRU vs BUL 20:40GIO Stadium
    Sat, 30 MayTimes shown AEST
    SHA vs REB 04:10Growthpoint Kings Park
    HIG vs CHF 18:35Rugby Park
    FOR vs RED 20:40nib Stadium
    Sun, 31 MayTimes shown AEST
    STO vs CHT 02:05DHL Newlands
    LIO vs WAR 04:10Emirates Airlines Park
    View All Fixtures
    Round 17
    Fri, 05 JunTimes shown AEST
    HUR vs HIG 18:35McLean Park
    FOR vs BRU 22:00nib Stadium
    Sat, 06 JunTimes shown AEST
    REB vs BUL 16:30AAMI
    BLU vs CRU 18:35EP
    RED vs CHF 20:40SS
    Sun, 07 JunTimes shown AEST
    CHT vs WAR 00:00FSS
    STO vs LIO 02:05DHL Newlands
    View All Fixtures
    Round 18
    Fri, 12 JunTimes shown AEST
    BLU vs HIG 18:35EP
    REB vs FOR 20:40AAMI
    Sat, 13 JunTimes shown AEST
    BRU vs CRU 16:30GIO Stadium
    CHF vs HUR 18:35Yarrow Stadium
    WAR vs RED 20:40AS
    Sun, 14 JunTimes shown AEST
    BUL vs CHT 02:05Loftus Versfeld
    SHA vs STO 04:10Growthpoint Kings Park
    View All Fixtures
    Round 19
    Fri, 19 JunTimes shown AEST
    7 vs 7 10:00
    Sat, 20 JunTimes shown AEST
    7 vs 7 10:00
    View All Fixtures
    Round 20
    Fri, 26 JunTimes shown AEST
    7 vs 7 10:00
    Sat, 27 JunTimes shown AEST
    7 vs 7 10:00
    View All Fixtures
    Round 21
    Sat, 04 JulTimes shown AEST
    7 vs 7 10:00
    View All Fixtures
    Super Rugby 2015
    Overall standings
    Team P W L D +/- Pts
    Hurricanes 6 6 0 0 85 27
    Brumbies 6 4 2 0 73 20
    Sharks 7 4 3 0 11 19
    Chiefs 7 5 2 0 46 24
    Bulls 6 4 2 0 24 18
    Waratahs 6 4 2 0 36 18
    Highlanders 6 4 2 0 22 20
    Stormers 6 4 2 0 15 16
    View all
     
    Featured advertisers