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Thread: Mortlock calls time on rugby career

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    Legend Contributor blueandblack's Avatar
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    Mortlock calls time on rugby career

    Former Wallabies skipper Stirling Mortlock admits he'll head into retirement unsatisfied despite 15 years of top class rugby.

    The 35-year-old announced at a Melbourne Rebels fan day that he would play one last game in Australia - against Queensland at AAMI Park on June 29 - and then two in South Africa to finish the Super Rugby season before hanging up his boots for good next month.

    Mortlock, who had one year to go on his three-year deal with the fledgling Rebels, will move into a coaching/ambassador role next season.

    He joined the club as its marquee signing for its debut season in 2011 from the Brumbies where he played most of his Super Rugby career, starting in 1998.

    At his peak, Mortlock, a powerful runner and defender, was one of the best outside centres in world rugby but he's battled calf muscle injuries this season and only had his first start in round 12.

    With the body unable to match the mind, his illustrious career will end on 80 Tests since making his debut in 2000, amassing 489 points.

    "There's no secret I still love what I do and still love playing and training and contributing. It's more about my body," said Mortlock on Sunday.

    "Being on the sidelines for nine of 10 weeks this season was extremely frustrating and tough. My body is back in the shape I want it to be but I think it is the right time (to retire)."

    Asked if he was satisfied with what he'd achieved, Mortlock said no.

    "You always look back and think there are things you could have done more of or better," he said.

    "That fuel and hunger and desire is what helps guys get the best out of themselves."

    Wallabies coach Robbie Deans said Mortlock, who hasn't played a Test since 2009, was involved in many of the golden moments of Australian rugby.

    "His playing achievements speak for themselves. His is a record which is a testament to his commitment, self belief and his full throttle approach to the game," Deans said.

    But his career has been about more than mere statistics.

    "Stirling has been a central figure in many of the most golden moments in Australian rugby in the professional era."

    Mortlock remains the highest-scoring Australian player in Super Rugby history, the only to rack up more than 1000 points.

    Current Wallaby Adam Ashley-Cooper, who played with Mortlock at the Brumbies, said he owed plenty to the veteran.
    "He took me under his wing and I've got every achievement to thank Stirlo for because he was always there and mentored a lot of young guys and I was part of that," he said.

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    Veteran Ecky's Avatar
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    Great player in his day and a good pick up for that lot in their start-up.

    (I thought getting someone like Matt BUrke would've been a good pick up for us in year one)

    Stirlo's given me great viewing pleasure over the years for the Brumbies and . Onya mate - enjoy your retirement!

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    Veteran TOCC's Avatar
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    Will go down as one of Australis great backs, his 2003 RWC SF try is up there with Toutai Kefu's try as the best Wallaby try since the new millennium.

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    oh yeah, beautiful intercept, and heart crushing blow to the kiwis. Was like manna from heaven! Good luck stirlo!

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    Thanks for all the great moments and hard work Stirlo - such an explosive player, true pleasure to watch!!

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    Chuck Norris has the greatest Poker-Face of all time. He won the 1983 World Series of Poker, despite holding only a Joker, a Get out of Jail Free Monopoly card, a 2 of clubs, 7 of spades and a green #4 card from the game Uno.

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    (a.k.a. Mr Pinkbits) Stone Cold's Avatar
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    coz Stone Cold says so

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    Immortal Contributor The InnFORCEr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by palitu View Post
    oh yeah, beautiful intercept, and heart crushing blow to the kiwis. Was like manna from heaven! Good luck stirlo!
    Certainly his career highlight for me was this moment, thanks for the memories Stirlo, all the best

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    Veteran beige's Avatar
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    The other moment for me was that clutch penalty to win our first ever Tri-Nations in 2001.

    Also one of Gordon's finest products. Shame he ended up at the Rebels (heh) but a great player all the same.

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    Veteran Sheikh's Avatar
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    As a pom during Mortlock's peak years he was the player I most feared when England played Australia - hard, fair, always gave 100% and inspired those around him to do the same.

    Great player, great servant to the game, and will be missed on the field. That he's moving into a coaching role is fantastic for whoever he's passing on his experience to.

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    Last edited by Sheikh; 18-06-12 at 12:17. Reason: TIF pointing out it looked as though I was awarding myself caps!

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    Immortal Contributor The InnFORCEr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sheikh View Post
    As a pom during Mortlock's peak years he was the player I most feared when playing Australia - hard, fair, always gave 100% and inspired those around him to do the same.
    How many caps did you earn Sheikh

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    80 Minutes, 15 Positions, No Protection, Wanna Ruck?

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    Chuck Norris has the greatest Poker-Face of all time. He won the 1983 World Series of Poker, despite holding only a Joker, a Get out of Jail Free Monopoly card, a 2 of clubs, 7 of spades and a green #4 card from the game Uno.

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    Legend Contributor brokendown gunfighter's Avatar
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    if the cap fits,wear it!

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    Legend Contributor blueandblack's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The InnFORCEr View Post
    Certainly his career highlight for me was this moment, thanks for the memories Stirlo, all the best
    The intercept or the retirement?

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    Immortal Contributor The InnFORCEr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by blueandblack View Post
    The intercept or the retirement?
    Go away and bring back the real BnB

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    80 Minutes, 15 Positions, No Protection, Wanna Ruck?

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    Education is Important, but Rugby is Importanter!

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    Immortal jargan83's Avatar
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    Congrats on a stellar career Stirlo, a deadset legend and a few moments that will stand out in the memories of Wallaby supporters for years to come

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