Former France international Sebastien Chabal retires on a high after 16-year career
Last Updated: 05/05/14 3:41pm
French rugby icon Sebastien Chabal will call time on his 16-year playing career as the Pro D2 season draws to a close on Sunday.
Chabal, affectionately dubbed “the Caveman” for his thick beard and long hair, earned 62 caps for France between 2000 and 2011.
The 37-year-old utility forward will make his final professional appearance for promoted second division side Lyon on Sunday.
I realise how lucky I've been, and to have the opportunity to call it a day with a title and finish the mission for which I came: helping Lyon win promotion.
Les Loups enter the final round of fixtures with a 20-point advantage at the Pro D2 summit and Chabal is delighted to end on a winning note.
“On Sunday I will call a halt to my career as a rugby player and a high-level sportsman,” Chabal told a news conference on Monday.
“I realise how lucky I've been, and to have the opportunity to call it a day with a title and finish the mission for which I came: helping Lyon win promotion.”
Chabal, who has played at No 8, lock and flanker, spent five years at Sale from 2004-09 and then Racing Metro, but it was a ferocious tackle and a brutal charge in a Test match against New Zealand in 2007 that made his name.
Although originally a back-row, Chabal was often used as a lock by France coach Bernard Laporte, notably during the 2007 World Cup.
The first rugby player in over 50 years to have his wax figure at the Musee Grevin - the French Madame Tussauds - Chabal won two Six Nations titles with Les Bleus in 2007 and 2010 and the English Premiership with Sale in 2006.