Former Wallabies captain Mortlock announces retirement
Melbourne Rebels captain Stirling Mortlock will end his playing career at the end of the Super Rugby season next month, the former Wallabies skipper said on Sunday.
The 35-year-old veteran of 80 tests, including 29 as Australia captain, has been battling calf muscle injuries this season.
“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,” said Mortlock, who excelled as an outside centre during his prime.
“There’s no secret I still love what I do and still love playing. It’s more about my body,” said Mortlock, who played more than 140 Super Rugby games since his 1998 debut at the Brumbies.
Mortlock’s final game on home soil will be against Super Rugby champions Queensland Reds on June 29 before he flies to South Africa for the Rebels’ last two matches.
Mortlock toured Argentina as a 20-year-old in 1998 but had to wait two more years before making his test debut against the same opponents in Brisbane.
His last test was against South Africa in Cape Town in 2009.