Clyde Rathbone’s Super 14 career may have ended where it began in Durban after the ACT Brumbies winger confirmed yesterday he had not received an offer of a contract extension.
“I spoke with [coach] Andy Friend last week and at the moment there’s nothing for me and I’ve got to weigh up my options as to whether I go overseas, put my hand up to stay at the Brumbies or hang up the boots,” Rathbone said.
John-Paul Moloney of Canberra Times writes that a quadriceps injury will keep Rathbone out of Saturday’s match against the Auckland Blues and he admitted he was no certainty of making it back into the squad for the final-round match against the Waikato Chiefs or to break into the team for the finals if the Brumbies qualified.
“I couldn’t put my hand on my heart and say I’m going to be fit next week, a lot of it depends on how I get through next week. Obviously there’s selection as well, the team is going really well and whether you want to mess with that balance is a question for Friendy.’
‘Injuries have dominated Rathbone’s time at the Brumbies. He missed the first year of his first contract with a groin injury and has been off the field for much of the past three seasons with knee problems.
While the former Wallaby remains one of the most dynamic wingers in the game when fit, Rathbone accepted he was a questionable asset for the club given his injury problems.
“I can empathise with the position the Brumbies are in. Amongst the players and the wider group it is like a family here, but at the end of the day it’s also a business and you’ve got to make difficult decisions in business.
“If they weren’t to offer me a contract at the end of the season it’ll be a tough business decision they’ll have had to make and I can completely understand that.”
A former captain of the South African under-21s team, Rathbone made his debut for the Durban Sharks in his home province before joining the Brumbies as a 22-year-old in 2003.
With his prospects of remaining at the club now slim, Rathbone said he had thought about how his starting appearance against the Sharks on March 28 might have been his last.
“It crossed my mind the other day that there’s a realistic possibility that I played my last game for the Brumbies against the Sharks where I played my first professional game.
“We didn’t win the game, but from a personal point of view, it if was my last game for the Brumbies I’m glad to have forced my way back into the starting team for that game. I don’t think I’d have liked to have played five minutes off the bench and have that as my last game.”
Rathbone said he had “no interest at all” in playing for another Australian Super14 team.
He and his wife Carrie are co-owners of a corporate health and fitness business. Rathbone was in no rush to decide his future, but said his business commitments could override the exciting prospects of playing overseas.
“It’s a very exciting time in corporate health. Government and organisations that go out of their way to look after their staff are seeing the benefits,” Rathbone said.Tweet