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How Pearce’s wild night unfolded

Written By Unknown on Minggu, 11 Mei 2014 | 23.02

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MITCHELL Pearce's State of Origin hopes are in serious doubt and his long-term future is also unclear after a wild night of partying ended with the Sydney Roosters star being kicked out of two Sydney hot spots, arrested and under police investigation for an "interaction" with a woman.

In another black eye for rugby league, Blues Origin coach Laurie Daley confirmed the 25-year-old's standing as the incumbent NSW halfback would be reviewed after police called for witnesses into an incident Pearce was allegedly involved in with a woman on a Kings Cross nightclub dance floor about 1.30am on Sunday.

And his Sydney Roosters and NSW teammate Boyd Cordner could also be called to account for his actions after the pair were ejected from the Clovelly Hotel earlier in the evening.

The Roosters will investigate the matter before deciding on a course of action. Source: News Corp Australia

CCTV footage is believed to be critical to police investigations over what they described as an "interaction'' between Pearce and a young woman near the Beach Haus dance floor in the early hours of Sunday morning.

Channel Nine reported a "visibly distressed'' young woman had approached police and pointed out Pearce, who security staff escorted from the club.

Police later arrested Pearce when he allegedly became argumentative and refused to leave the area. He was issued with an infringement notice involving a fine for failing to leave a licensed premises and banned from Kings Cross for 48 hours.

Charges haven't been ruled out as police seek witnesses and review CCTV footage from the nightclub.

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"At this stage they've just alleged to police an interaction that's occurred between two people,'' Inspector Craig Lowery said on Sunday.

"Someone who has witnessed the offence has alerted police to what's happened.''

While Insp. Lowery wouldn't say whether the "interaction'' was with a woman, he did confirm Pearce wasn't in a fight.

"At this stage it's too early in the investigation to determine what's happened,'' Lowery said.

Pearce and Boyd Cordner were reportedly asked to leave the Clovelly Hotel. Source: News Limited

The Daily Telegraph has been told Pearce had earlier been drinking at the Clovelly Hotel with Roosters teammates Cordner, Dylan Napa, Jared Waerea-Hargreaves and Frank Paul Nuuausala.

Pearce and Cordner were both asked to leave the Clovelly Hotel about 10.30pm on Saturday after allegedly becoming aggressive with security staff.

Several other Roosters players were also asked to leave as a result and it's understood Pearce and Cordner were told they were not welcome to return.

Should Mitchell Pearce be dropped for State of Origin?

The NRL Integrity Unit and the Roosters have both launched investigations into the incident, which comes just 10 days before Daley is to select his NSW side to play Queensland at Suncorp Stadium on May 28.

Pearce was a certainty to be chosen as the Blues' halfback.

"We will find out all the facts and details and take it from there," Daley told The Daily Telegraph on Sunday night.

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Asked could this incident impact on Pearce's selection, Daley said: "That is something we will discuss internally.

"Before we make any comment or decision, we have to find out what happened and the reasoning for it.

"From there we will form an opinion."

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Pearce, Cordner and his teammates were out just 24 hours after their side beat Wests Tigers 30-6 to kick off Mother's Day round.

"It would be premature to make any judgment until the full set of circumstances are know," NSWRL chairman Dave Trodden said.

The Sydney Roosters issued a statement on Sunday afternoon, saying: "The Sydney Roosters have been made aware that Mitchell Pearce was issued with an infringement notice for failure to quit a licensed premises overnight.

"The infringement notice was issued and the fine paid. The Roosters have advised the NRL's Integrity Unit.

"From here, the club will address the matter internally and will be making no further comment."

The Roosters have said they intend to sort the incident out as quickly as possible Source: News Corp Australia

The Roosters will continue their investigations today. Club officials want the matter cleared up as soon as possible.

The NRL released a brief statement saying: "The NRL has been made aware if the matter involving Mitchell Pearce.

"The Integrity Unit has sought advice from the Roosters."



Should Pearce face sanctions from the NRL, he may well be banned from Origin I.

If that were to happen, Newcastle's Jarrod Mullen, Canterbury's Josh Reynolds and Bulldogs teammate Trent Hodkinson are possible replacements.

The Roosters' James Maloney could also play halfback with John Sutton at five-eighth.

"Trent has a cool head and has the ability to steer his side around the field," Canterbury coach Des Hasler said of Hodkinson.

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Struggling Saints need Benji - urgently

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CAN Benji Marshall save the disgraceful Dragons?

Marshall is almost certain to be rushed directly into St George Illawarra's side for Saturday's match against Parramatta after the Dragons were walloped 38-6 by Canterbury.

"It was a soft performance," lamented Saints coach Steve Price.

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Under pressure yet again, Price will find it difficult to resist pushing Marshall straight into his starting side in the halves.

Before Sunday, Price had reservations about exactly when to play Marshall, who hasn't played rugby league for nearly nine months.

Can Benji Marshall save the Dragons' season?

But Sunday's result will no doubt prompt Price to give the former Wests Tigers star a crack at the Eels. And it may just save Saints' stumbling season.

Asked whether he would name Marshall this week, Price said: "That's irrelevant. I will worry about that on Tuesday."

Is it too soon for Benji Marshall to play in the NRL? Source: News Corp Australia

Marshall might be able to attack — but he won't help St George Illawarra's flimsy defence.

"No excuses — it was a soft," Price said. "We are about being brutally honest. I'm not a bloke who minces his words.

"This is a proud football club and we know we are better than what we dished up.

"I'd like to think today was a one-off. We had a lot to play for, they are a quality football team.

'We will have to keep working hard, stick by your mates and pull through tough times."

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St George Illawarra were horrible on Sunday. They had nothing.

The Dragons have now lost five of their past six games as their season of promise quickly evaporates. It was an insipid effort.

They just couldn't match or overcome the giant Bulldogs pack. It was a mismatch.

Missed tackles, kicking dead from a kick-off, dropped ball, forward passes — Saints did everything wrong.

"There is no point sugar coating things," said Saints skipper Ben Creagh. "We dug a hole in the first half and kept digging."

Ben Creagh sits dejected after another try by Tim Lafai. Source: News Corp Australia

Canterbury has won six straight games and look headed directly for a top four finish. It will take one hell of a forward pack to dominate the Dogs.

The Bulldogs scored four first half tries to lead 22-0 at half-time.

Centre Tim Lafai, who wrote 'MUM' on the wrist strapping, celebrated Mother's Day with three tries.

The Dragons' chances were all but over after 40 minutes, some of their disappointed fans left ANZ Stadium with still 20 minutes remaining.

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Saints' kicking game in the first half was particularly poor, while Sunday's winning margin was a new record between the two clubs.

"I was very pleased with the first 40 minutes," said Canterbury coach Des Hasler. "It was pretty solid but we lost our way a little toward the back-end.

"They are a good footy side and we knew we had to come here with plenty of energy."

Hasler though is refusing to talk-up his side's performances.

Tim Lafai — with 'Mum' on his wristband — bagged three tries as the Bulldogs went top. Source: Getty Images

"We can't get ahead of ourselves," Hasler said. "We aren't through the rep period yet.

"Souths are coming good, so are the Roosters and Melbourne. There is still a long way to go."

With Manly and Gold Coast losing, Canterbury are now outright competition leaders. They look strong, big and organised.

"We have been fortunate to have the majority of the side on the field for the opening two months," said Bulldogs skipper Michael Ennis.

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Ricciardo claims first podium finish

Red Bull driver Daniel Ricciardo finished third at the Spanish GP behind winner Lewis Hamilton. Source: Mark Thompson / Getty Images

EMERGING Australian driver Daniel Ricciardo claimed his first podium finish in Formula One as the Mercedes team dominated the Spanish Grand Prix on Sunday.

Lewis Hamilton took over leadership of the drivers championship with his fourth win in a row, finishing just 0.6 seconds ahead of his teammate Nico Rosberg.

The Englishman moved to 100 points for the season, three ahead of German Rosberg.

Ricciardo came home third for Red Bull ahead of his teammate, defending four-time world champion Sebastian Vettel, who had started from 15th on the grid.

Ricciardo leads Lotus' French driver Romain Grosjean at the Circuit de Catalunya. Source: AFP

After winning by just a few car lengths at the Circuit de Catalunya, Hamilton said Rosberg had been the faster driver, but he had won thanks to advice from his team in the closing stages. "Nico was quicker. I struggled with the balance and needed to rely on my engineers," Hamilton said.

"I was moving my settings up and down and fortunately I was able to keep Nico behind." Rosberg, after finishing second behind Hamilton for the fourth consecutive time, said he felt he needed just one more lap to make a passing move.

"Unfortunately that was it and I am a bit gutted, but still, second place, second in the championship and many more races to go... I will go to Monaco to go one better and try and repeat the win from last year."

For Ricciardo it was a moment of special satisfaction, having finished third in the season-opening Australian Grand Prix before being disqualified for a fuel irregularity.

Nice Rosberg sprays champagne all over winner and Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton. Source: AP

"We did not have the pace on Mercedes," said the West Australian, who finished 49 sec behind Hamilton.

"We had a pretty comfortable third place and it is really nice to be on the podium and I am sure I will get to keep it this time!"

It was Hamilton's first win in Spain and the 26th of his career while the Mercedes one-two stamped their complete supremacy on the constructors' championship which they now lead by more than 100 points.

Hamilton added that he had not dared dream of such a strong start to his second season with Mercedes after his unexpected decision to leave McLaren.

Hamilton leads from the start of the race with the burning tyres causing a smoky beginning. Source: AFP

"This is what the idea was, that I was given. I wasn't sure we could actually be a second faster than Red Bull, but we've managed to do it. I'm really pleased and to have our fourth 1-2 finish together is unreal."

Hamilton now has a 55-point lead over fourth-placed Vettel, whose strong drive after two days blighted by setbacks signalled his threat.

The German said: "That was more fun than the last race when I had to let people by. All in all it was the maximum we could do."

Finn Valtteri Bottas finished fifth for the resurgent Williams team ahead of local hero and two-time champion Spaniard Fernando Alonso and his Ferrari team-mate 2007 champion Finn Kimi Raikkonen.

Frenchman Romain Grosjean was eighth for Lotus, signalling their return to some form after a dismal start to the year, ahead of Mexican Sergio Perez and his Force India team-mate German Nico Hulkenberg, who was 10th.

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Storm put hopes on new Mann

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FIRST-game hero Kurt Mann may be called upon to weave some more magic in the coming weeks with Melbourne Storm facing a backline shortage.

The 21-year-old was outstanding on debut on Saturday night, scoring the match-winning try in Melbourne's dramatic come-from-behind win over Manly.

But the win was soured somewhat by on-field reports to superstar Billy Slater and five-eighth Ben Hampton.

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Both will know their fate on Monday after Slater was put in the book for a high hit on David Williams and Hampton for a dangerous throw on Tom Symonds.

It came just days after back up five-eighth Cody Walker tore his hamstring when on the verge of his NRL debut.

Fellow playmaker Ben Roberts remains one to two weeks with a knee injury.

Centre Justin O'Neill has undergone ankle injury and won't return until late in the season.

Billy Slater goes on report after a tackle on David Williams. Source: Getty Images

A serious backline reshuffle looms if Melbourne's worst fears are realised before Friday night's big test against South Sydney at ANZ Stadium.

Mann could be part of that reshuffle given he is more suited in the halves, despite debuting in the centres on Saturday night.

"Back when I was 16 was the last time I've played in the centres except for the last 2 weeks in the NSW Cup," Mann (below) said. "I thought I'd be waiting around until State of Origin time to get a crack, but I got in early so it was good.

"I am happy to play anywhere, I just want to play first grade footy so I'll play anywhere if I have to."

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The young Queenslander was the toast of Storm fans when he swooped upon a Cooper Cronk cross-field kick to score the match-winner against Manly.

The modest Mann said it was a moment he would not forget.

"It was pretty unbelievable I don't know what to say, I was in the right place, right time I guess," said Mann.

"I assumed he (Cronk) was going to kick and he kicked it my way. I just chased like there was no tomorrow.

"He is probably the best kicker in the game and I was just lucky to be there."

The Storm celebrate Mann's late match-winner. Source: News Corp Australia

Mann was a late inclusion for Melbourne, replacing Mahe Fonua in the starting side.

He didn't disappoint — recording 65 metres and making 23 tackles for the game.

Storm coach Craig Bellamy ensured a nervous week for the youngster when he told him on Tuesday he would be playing.

"I slept very uneasy (on Friday night) I can tell you that," said Mann.

"(The day of the game) I was at home and didn't say much, all my family was down from Queensland and I just sort of sat and kept to myself all day.

"I was really nervous at the captain's run, I didn't want to touch the ball but (senior players) kept me calm and showed me the ropes."

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Mannah heads for altar without best man

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TIM Mannah is a fortnight out from his wedding and still short a best man.

Or more precisely, the best man.

Missing that mate whose clothes still hang in the home they shared. Whose countless gadgets — a toy helicopter here, steel robot there — are also strewn about, many in the last place they were dropped.

And photographs? Mannah's mobile is full of them.

Tim Mannah (L) with his brother and former Cronulla Sharks player Jon. Source: News Limited

Countless pictures of the inseparable brothers, hulking arms slung over one another, as they smile their way through Texas, Las Vegas, Trinidad, New Zealand, even that time as teenagers when they found each other in France, on separate schoolboy footy tours.

"Have kept his last text messages, too,'' the Parramatta captain says. "Don't think I'll ever have the guts to delete them."

This is why the Jon Mannah Cup matters.

Why in age where footballers are almost weekly contesting another piece of silverware dreamed up by the marketing department, you could touch this new gong and not only feel warmth, but a heartbeat.

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It has now been 16 months since Jonny Mannah, 23, lost his battle with Hodgkin's lymphoma.

Life so cruelly taken from the missionary who toured Vanuatu twice. A Youth Leader who went abseiling within hours of chemotherapy because, well, he'd promised the kids.

A best man who, a fortnight from now, should be handing brother Tim that ring picked for his beautiful South African bride.

"But, yeah ... he won't be there,'' the Eels prop deadpans. "And that's what I miss most, his presence.

"Wether it was school, footy, church, our lives were intertwined. I could go for a coffee and it never mattered if no one else was there but Jonny, just the pair of us joking.

Tim Mannah with the Johnny Mannah Cup, named after his brother/ Source: News Corp Australia

"Even now, I'll see something on TV, maybe hear someone make a remark — a little thing that means absolutely nothing to anyone else, but would've kept us laughing for hours.

"And Jonny, he just had that laugh, that personality which touched people. I'm so glad we now have something to keep it alive."

And by something, he means The Mannah Foundation.

Launched only last week, the new charity will use fundraisers like Monday night's Cup match between Parramatta and Cronulla — the two clubs Jon played for — to support the youth groups for which the late forward gave so much of his time.

Raising money for children like Tim Jelacic, the tiny Eels fan who, still only eight, has already endured more than 60 radiation treatments.

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Who only recently learned, despite his fight, there will be no cure. Surgeons softly explaining how, little Timmy, you will keep getting brain tumours until that one which finally takes you to heaven.

"But he wants to keep fighting,'' Mannah explains. "And we want to get him and his family to Disneyland."

So now you know where every gold coin donated at Pirtek Stadium will go. And why this Mannah Cup, it matters.

"Jonny had a real heart for helping others,'' his older brother continues. "Even his sickness, he saw it as an opportunity, a chance to free up his time from football and shine more light on those in darkness.

"I guess, as footballers, so many of us feel like we do our bit for community through the club. But for Jon, it was 24/7.

"You didn't clock on, clock off ... it was a lifestyle."

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And still, there isn't a day he wishes his brother back.

"No, because that would be selfish,'' Mannah insists. "I haven't told many people this, but during one of our hospital chats early on, we were going through all the different scenarios he faced.

"And I'll never forget Jonny saying, 'give me a choice to go slow or quick — I choose quick every time'.

"Which is how it happened, too. God was real gentle with him.

"So, no, he won't be here for my wedding. But because of the way he lived, because of his legacy ... it means Jonny will be helping others for a long time yet."

23.02 | 0 komentar | Read More

Buzz: Stuart fighting to save career

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RICKY Stuart is under the pump and fighting to save his NRL coaching career at the Canberra Raiders.

After collecting the wooden spoon at Parramatta last year, he needed a solid top-eight finish with the Raiders in 2014 to restore his reputation.

Every now and then some NRL teams just don't turn up, play soft, and get flogged by 50 points. It just happens.


Stuart admitted he was struggling for answers after Canberra's crushing defeat. Source: News Corp Australia

The performance is normally so embarrassing and so humiliating that they bounce back the next week to reinstate some pride.

Not the Canberra Raiders, who have now conceded 108 points in the last two starts against the Warriors and Sea Eagles.

There are no excuses for such pathetic, almost shameful, performances back to back.

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It's easy to point the finger at Stuart. He is the head coach and has to accept full responsibility for the manner in which they turn up every weekend.

That's why coaches like him get paid up to $1 million a year.

Then you start looking at the statistics. They never tell the full story but give you a pretty good indication.


They've had 59 missed tackles in two games. Conceded 18 tries. Jarrod Crocker has missed 14 tackles and Bill Tupou 13.

They are getting absolutely hammered and carved up on the edges. There is no attitude in defence.

But surely there is more to Canberra's abysmal form than we're hearing about.

The Raiders trudge from the field after their demolition at the hands of the Warriors. Source: Getty Images

It's common knowledge assistant coaches Matt Parish and Dean Pay have fallen out and barely speak.

That's something Stuart has to address and one of them probably has to go.

But now to the real problem.



Towards the end of last season a group of players fronted management and demanded the sacking of Dave Furner.

It was the coach's fault, not theirs, that the Raiders had again bombed out of finals contention.

Well, what's their excuse this season?

After collecting the wooden spoon with Parramatta last year, Stuart's career is under real pressure. Source: News Limited

The same players who stabbed Furner in the back are playing just as dismally under a new coach.

There is no spirit in their performances and no pride in the jersey. Their supporters and members are getting blatantly ripped off.

Right now I'm thinking this club needs new players more than a new coach.

It appears only a complete overhaul of the roster will change the culture in the national capital.

Josh Papalii has struggled for form this season. Source: Getty Images

Ricky Stuart needs to put a broom through the place. Get rid of Josh Papalii if he doesn't want to be there.

Get rid of the old front-rowers who aren't doing the hard yards. Anthony Milford too. If he wants to be in Brisbane, let him go.

Right now this club needs 17 committed football players who are at least prepared to have a go.

If not, Ricky Stuart's coaching career is over. He can afford no more drubbings.


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The Swans victory over Hawthorn and Buddy Franklin's two goals in the final quarter.

It was gripping footy in front of twice as many fans as the across-town NRL game attracted.


Jorge Taufua's miraculous and seemingly impossible touchdown for a try against Melbourne Storm.

It was as freakish as the Brett Morris try at Shark Park.

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Mitchell Pearce's poor form on the booze in Kings Cross when we all thought he'd grown up.


The appointment of QLD's former deputy premier and treasurer Andrew Fraser to the NRL as head of strategy and investment.

This is the same man that played a part in almost sending the sunshine state broke.

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I love rugby league but the best footy I've seen in the last fortnight has been the gripping soccer grand final and the Swans v Hawthorn.

And it's all because the NRL played the stupid rep round last week and robbed the premiership of its momentum.

It would be the equivalent of David Jones closing their doors for two days during a January sale.


Blues Origin coach Laurie Daley is organising a fundraiser this week for his local junior club North Sydney Brothers.

On Friday afternoon he'll be at Norths leagues Club with Wendell Sailor, Benny Elias and Mark Coyne to host an Origin-themed lunch.

Tables of 10 are available for $1350.

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Raiders unhappy at Ferguson quick return

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CANBERRA Raiders are adamant Blake Ferguson will be playing with the Sydney Roosters next season — but Ferguson's former club would also be stunned and disappointed if the NRL welcomed the troubled centre back in 2014.

And the Raiders received support from Channel 9 commentator Peter Sterling who spoke of his concerns in granting Ferguson an early return.

Blake Ferguson is currently recovering from a broken ankle. Source: News Corp Australia

The Sunday Telegraph revealed that the Roosters had approached the NRL in a bid to get Ferguson on their books before the June 30 deadline.

Ferguson was deregistered after the Raiders sacked him last September following a series of off-field indiscretions.


Ferguson was also charged and found guilty of indecent assault in Cronulla last year for which he was handed a two-year good behaviour bond in February.

Ferguson is currently recovering from a broken ankle and a split bone in his left leg.

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But the Roosters want to register a contract so they can begin his rehabilitation through the club's medical staff ahead of a likely return later this year.

"I have mixed feelings about this," Sterling told The Sunday Footy Show.

"I would like to see Blake Ferguson back in the game but I do think some penance has to be served and I don't think that has been achieved as yet."

The Daily Telegraph can also reveal the Raiders are adamant Ferguson has told friends in Canberra that he will be playing for the Roosters next year.

But while Canberra were never given any assurances from the NRL as to how long Ferguson would be stood down, the Raiders would be filthy if Ferguson was allowed back so soon given the trouble he caused them last year.

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It is understood the Roosters have met with the NRL and the Bondi club believes that in the right environment and with strong discipline they can help rehabilitate Ferguson.

The Raiders are yet to be contacted by the NRL about the Roosters' latest advances.

Canberra could not be accused of not giving Ferguson every chance to change his attitude.

But they were eventually forced to sake him after he went AWOL last year and embarrassed the club by turning his absence into a social media circus.

The Raiders are privately sick and tired of seeing their club take a hardline approach to poor player behaviour only to see other clubs take advantage of the situation.

They believe it would be the ultimate insult to Canberra fans and sponsors in Ferguson was allowed to sign with another club this year.

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‘Caveman’ Chabal plays final game

Back to the cave ... Lyon's Rugby union French flanker Sebastien Chabal, nicknamed the 'Caveman' has played his last game of professional rugby. Source: JEAN-PHILIPPE KSIAZEK / AFP

SELF-STYLED caveman Sebastien Chabal retired from rugby overnight, the French forward bowing out with critics split over his rugby-playing abilities but no one in doubt over his role as a "monument to marketing".

The 36-year-old Chabal won 62 caps for France as a powerhouse lock and back row forward, winning two Grand Slams, and his last act of a 16-year career came when he turned out a final time for Lyon, his current club which he has helped seal promotion from the ProD2 to the Top 14.

Lyon beat La Rochelle 27-26 on Sunday, Chabal coming on as a substitute to rapturous applause.

Chabal was one of the best-known and best-paid rugby players in the world, his dark beard and locks catapulting him into the public eye, with a couple of notable performances on the pitch in 2007.

"I adore rugby but I'm very conscious of the efforts needed to perform at the highest level," Chabal had said when announcing he would retire earlier in the week.

"Lyon have been promoted into the elite division of French rugby, a level at which I played for a long time.

"My body and my head tell me it's time to stop. My body is suffering and my head no longer wants to make my body suffer.

"You have to know to accept when it's over. My sporting career is finished, but my life is not."

France's rugby newspaper Midi Olympique headlined its piece on Chabal: "A look, some nicknames, some adverts and a little bit of rugby: what Sebastien Chabal will be known for.

"Do the test," the paper said. "Take a random person: your grandmother, a busker on the subway or the local check-out girl.

"These people might not have a particular interest in rugby, but one name will be emitted from their mouths: that of Sebastien Chabal.

"Don't go looking for a rational or scientific explanation, it's a fact ... he's the best known rugby player in France. His beard and long hair made him a public personality."

Icon ... France's lock Sebastien Chabal grabs the ball during a Rugby World Cup preparation match in 2007. Source: AFP

Chabal sprung to wider prominence when on tour with France in New Zealand in June 2007, a jarring tackle on Chris Masoe and breaking the jaw of Ali Williams propelling him to instant YouTube fame.

The Frenchman quickly saw his stock go up, allied with his inclusion for the 2007 Rugby World Cup on home soil. By 2009, his earnings were estimated at two million euros.

"Nobody will tell us off for saying Sebastien Chabal is not the best French rugby player of all time. The man knows it as well. He's never hidden from that," Midi Olympique continued.

The paper argued, however, that Chabal was not just a marketing man's invention: "Great tackler and defence buster, changeable in the France team between lock and backrow, a leader by example, Chabal lent something good to all the teams he played for."

Wide-selling magazine Rugby World offered a franker assessment of Chabal, firstly lamenting the fact that Dimitri Yachvili, the second-highest points scorer for France, received little attention when he announced last month that he was hanging up his boots.

Before he was the Caveman ... Sebastien Chabal in November 2003 (L) and during the 2007 World Cup. Source: AFP

"The last time Chabal was in the news for anything he'd done on the rugby field was January this year when he was banned for three weeks after knocking out Marc Giroud of Agen in a Pro D2 match," said Rugby World's Gavin Mortimer.

"It was a petulant punch from Chabal, the act perhaps of a man raging against the dying of the light. Not that the light ever shone that brightly for Chabal."

Mortimer continued: "He's never been a world-class player, even during those heady days of 2007 when France hosted the World Cup and Chabal was the face of the tournament.

Chabal "struggled to last 80 minutes of a Test match and was most effective as an impact player in the last quarter", with 29 of his 62 caps coming off the bench.

"The 6ft 4in muscleman liked to think of himself as a loose forward but at Test level he was no such thing ...

"Ultimately it wasn't the big tackles that made Chabal's name, it was the big beard."

Chabal was one of the faces of the 2007 World Cup in France, but as Rugby World argued, while the retiring Brian O'Driscoll and Jonny Wilkinson are monuments to rugby, the Frenchman was simply a "monument to marketing".

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