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Another concussion victim. Former Wallaby hangs up boots.

Only 32.

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Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images

Former Wallabies centre Anthony Fainga’a has announced his retirement from all rugby.

The 32-year-old, who played 23 Tests for Australia, spoke to Fox Sports News on Wednesday after making the decision and shared some scary stories regarding his multiple brain injuries.

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It’s not spoken about enough nor is it encouraged to be spoken about enough.. Professional sport especially rugby have often been seen as a place where vulnerability is a sign of weakness and a mental health condition as a private battle to be fought but not spoken about. The REAL me is someone who has struggled with mental health throughout my career due to multiple concussions. The public sees what the media shows them and it’s time as an athlete to speak out, show vulnerability and attempt to make a difference. Athlete or not, they are a person, like you, they have unseen struggles that affect their livelihood and those around them. #mentalhealth #rugby #standproud #concussionawareness

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“I’m probably only one more head knock away from being a vegetable or not being able to play with my kids,”

“After a couple of really big head knocks, I had to make a big decision.

“In 2016, my twin brother (fellow former Wallaby Saia) got married and at the altar, I was actually getting held up because of the head knocks.

“I received a couple of really big head knocks over my career and I was standing at the altar getting held up, I got walked out by someone.

“I got a few head knocks last year and after all these head knocks I had to make a decision, make a choice about what I wanted to do with my future.

“I love the rugby game so much but I needed to look after my mental health.”

Fainga’a played for the Brumbies in 2007-08 before running out on 90 occassions for the Reds between 2009-16.

Of late he has been playing in Japan for the Kintetsu Liners but has decided the risks of playing rugby outweighed the rewards.

“When I would speak it out loud, it was an easy decision but when I was thinking about it, it was like, how hard is this, I love the game and I’ve got offers to keep going and I should play still,” Fainga’a said, adding that he had talked retirement options over with brothers Saia and fellow pro Colby, now playing for Connacht.

“They would never say: ‘It’s time to hang the boots up.’

“But I told them and they were so happy for me.

“My message would be it’s never too early, it’s never too late to finish up.

“Everyone wants to keep playing, everyone loves rugby but it only takes that one head knock.

“Especially for younger players, they need to make the hard decision.

“The easy decision is to keep playing, the hard choice is to say I’m going to give this up and go and do something else.”

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Rugby Championship

SANZAAR to Consider Japan’s Rugby Championship Inclusion

Following their hugely impressive Rugby World Cup performances from Japan SANZAAR are set to not only consider the team’s inclusion in the Rugby Championship but are also to reconsider the Sunwolves future according to reports

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(Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

Japanese rugby franchise the Sunwolves could be set for a return to Super Rugby as well as the national side having a chance to compete in the Rugby Championship according to a report from Newshub.

Following Japan’s brilliant World Cup campaign where they reached the last eight of the competition for the first time in their history, SANZAAR are apparently set to consider bringing the country into the Rugby Championship to help them develop their game. 

The report claims that SANZAAR are set to meet in Tokyo on Friday where they will also discuss the possibility of reintroducing the Sunwolves to Super Rugby. 

Speaking to Newshub, World Rugby chief executive Brett Gosper is hoping that Japan will be able to compete at the highest level and rues the fact that the Nations Championship proposal was shut down. 

“Certainly if I was in their shoes I’d be very keen to have Japan in my competition sooner rather than later. That’s entirely their call. We proposed a nations championship that had Japan very much playing at the top table and maybe they’ll see it that way for their own particular championship” he said. 

The inclusion of the Sunwolves would be huge for Japan after the franchise failed to agree a new contract with SANZAAR to extend their time in the competition where they have only won eight of 62 games since 2016. 

However, considering the success of the national side this tournament it seems only fair that they should be given a chance to continue their development to the top tier and that will only happen if their players are playing against the best week in week out. 

The Japanese were unfortunate to go down 26-3 to the Springboks on Saturday in the quarter-finals, but following their incredible performances where they played a fast and exciting style of rugby, earning many fans worldwide, people will hope that this is only the beginning of their rugby story.

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International

All Blacks Lucky to Only Receive One Red Card?!

Following Saturday’s first Bledisloe Cup match much of the talk revolved around Scott Barrett’s sending off, however, it turns out the All Blacks may have been fortunate to have only had one red card!

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(Photo by Phil Walter/Getty Images)

The All Blacks 47-26 crushing defeat to the Wallabies on Saturday was mostly followed by talk surrounding Scott Barrett’s sending off, but it now seems as though he could have been joined on the side-lines by some of his teammates

Social media exploded on Saturday in the aftermath of Barrett’s red card, for which he subsequently received a three-week ban from rugby. However, Fox Sports have done some research and found that the All Blacks actually committed 17 instances of foul play in the 80 minutes of which only three were penalised.

The most noticeable of which happened only eight minutes into the game when the All Blacks were fortunate not to have three men given at least yellow cards at once.

Dane Coles, Owen Franks and Ardie Savea all could have faced further punishment than the penalty awarded with the trio performing no arms tackles that were high on Wallabies captain Michael Hooper.

Flanker Sam Cane complained after the game of the Wallabies methods of breaking up the ruck.

“To be honest, I wasn’t aware of it until I looked at my game yesterday but there were times when you’d get over the ball and you’d know you were in a good position and then for whatever reason you get taken off it. Sometimes it was because players were coming blatantly in from the side, sometimes it’s those neck rolls,” he said on Monday.

However, it has since been noticed that he flipped Wallabies hooker Tolu Latu on his head in the 35th minute to prevent a turnover at a ruck and a short time later Franks was spotted tackling Izack Rodda around the neck.

That was only in the first-half.

In the second-half there were two instances were substitute prop Angus Ta’avao tackled players around the neck and also didn’t use his arms in a tackle.

As well as this the Wallabies were constantly being hit off the ball, but there was no punishment.

The Wallabies were at fault on multiple occasions too with neck rolls being missed and late tackles slipping by.

However, the call from fans and players alike that the All Blacks were treated unfairly during their side’s record loss to the Wallabies would appear to be unjustified.

If anything, it seems as though things could have been much worse for the All Blacks if the officiating was stricter.

What is certain though is that both side’s will need to solve their defensive indiscipline for the second test this weekend or we could be seeing more players join Barrett on the side-lines.

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Rugby Championship

WATCH: Surely this new angle on Barrett Red Card ends the debate.

Surely this ends the debate.

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Photo Credit: Fox Sports

There has been mass debate over the weekend since Jérôme Garcès issued Scott Barrett a Red-Card for a no arms tackle to the head/neck area of Michael Hooper.

Many pundits, players, former players and spectators gave their 2 pence worth but surely this new video angle that has been uncovered by host broadcaster Fox Sports ends the debate?

Here are some of the ranging opinions from Twitter.

Perhaps the most precise of all:

The SANZAAR foul play review committee will convene late Sunday afternoon (5pm AEST) by video conference to consider Barrett’s case.

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