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Endgame for former France captain Ibanez

Latest update : 2009-02-17

After ending his international career in 2007, France's former captain Raphael Ibanez has announced his retirement from all rugby after suffering a series of concussions.

AFP - Former France captain Raphael Ibanez announced Tuesday he was retiring from all rugby after suffering a series of concussions while leading English Premiership side Wasps.

"We all agreed that to avoid a bad injury it is time for me to stop playing," said Ibanez, who quit on his 36th birthday. "I tried everything to come back onto the pitch but it is just too risky."

The hooker, who won 98 caps for France between 1996 to 2007 before calling time on his Test career after the 2007 World Cup, suffered several head injuries while playing for Wasps.

And he had not appeared for the English giants, where he became captain at the start of the season after the retirement of Wasps and England great Lawrence Dallaglio, since suffering a blow to his head during the champions' Premiership match against Sale at Adams Park in November.

Ibanez began his career with hometown club Dax and also played in France for Perpignan and Castres.

He moved to England in 2003, initially playing for Saracens before moving to their London rivals Wasps in 2005.

Ibanez scored eight tries and captained France on 41 occasions.

He was also a member of the French team that won Six Nations Grand Slams in 1998 and 2002 as well as being crowned tournament champions in 2006 and 2007.

At club level, he helped Wasps win the 2007 European Cup and the 2008 English Premiership.

Date created : 2009-02-17