• France's news in English

French rugby legend Chabal set to retire

AFP/The Local · 5 May 2014, 16:09

Published: 05 May 2014 16:09 GMT+02:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

The 36-year-old Chabal won 62 caps for France as a powerhouse lock and back row forward, and his last act will come on Sunday when he turns out a final time for Lyon, his current club which he has helped seal promotion from the ProD2 to the Top 14.

"On Sunday I will call a halt to my career as a rugby player and a high-level sportsman," Chabal said.

"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, standing 1.91 metres tall and weighing 115 kg, became a cult figure in rugby circles with his barn-storming style of play allied with his thick black beard and flowing locks.

It allowed the forward to become one of the best paid rugby players in France thanks to lucrative commercial contracts that played on his on-field reputation and shaggy look.

Chabal played for Bourgoin (1998-2004) and English club Sale (2004-2009) before switching to Racing Metro in 2009 and then moving on to Lyon in 2012.

He played in two Six Nations-winning French sides in 2007 and 2010, and was an English Premiership winner in 2005 at Sale.

Such was Chabal's international draw, he even made a one-game cameo for minor Australian club side Balmain against Petersham in 2012 as a curtain-raiser to a Waratahs v Reds Super Rugby game.

The video below, posted on YouTube is a tribute to the legend of French rugby.

Story continues below…

AFP/The Local (ben.mcpartland@thelocal.com)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Calais migrants given mixed reception in French towns
Photo: AFP

Some in France have shown solidarity with their new guests, while others have made it clear they are not welcome.

Lonely Planet says Bordeaux is world's best city to visit
The fantastic new Bordeaux wine museum. Photo: AFP

After The Local France, the Lonely Planet has followed suit by urging everyone to head to Bordeaux in 2017.

Jungle shacks set ablaze and torn down as camp razed
All photos: AFP

IN PICTURES: The razing of the Jungle has finally begun.

Frenchwoman finds WW1 grenade among her spuds
Photo: AFP

It could have been a very explosive family dinner.

Refugee crisis
What rights to a future in France for Calais migrants?
Photo: AFP

What does the future hold for the migrants of the Jungle? Can they work or claim social benefits or travel freely inside Europe?

Pampers nappies 'contain carcinogenics': French study
Photo: Robert Valencia/Flick

The substances in the nappies are meant to prevent skin irritation but are cancerous, the study concludes.

France to scrap special prison wings for dangerous jihadists
Photo: AFP

The experiment has been ditched.

Myth busting: Half of French adults are now overweight
A model at the Pulp Fiction fashion show in Paris that represents society's diverse spectrum . Photo: AFP

Hold on, aren't the French all meant to be finely toned specimens with not an ounce of fat on them?

France poised to send bulldozers into Calais Jungle
Photo: AFP

As hundreds of migrants leave, the bulldozers are set to tear down the sprawling Calais shanty town on Tuesday.

UK to spend €40 million on securing Calais border
Photo: AFP

Britain spending big on security in Calais.

The annoying questions only a half French, half Brit can answer
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
Forget Brangelina's chateau - here are nine others you've got to see
The must-see French films of the millennium - Part One
How life for expats in France has changed over the years
Why Toulouse is THE place to be in France right now
Video: New homage to Paris shows the 'real side' of city
The 'most dangerous' animals you can find in France
Swap London fogs for Paris frogs: France woos the Brits
Anger after presenter kisses woman's breasts on live TV
Is France finally set for a cold winter this year?
IN PICS: The story of the 'ghost Metro stations' of Paris
How to make France's 'most-loved' dish: Magret de Canard
Welcome to the flipside: 'I'm not living the dream in France'
Do the French really still eat frogs' legs?
French 'delicacies' foreigners really find hard to stomach
French are the 'world's most pessimistic' about the future
Why the French should not be gloomy about the future
This is the most useful French lesson you will ever have. How to get angry
Why is there a giant clitoris in a field in southern France?
French pastry wars: Pain au chocolat versus chocolatine
Countdown: The ten dishes the French love the most
Expats or immigrants in France: Is there a difference?
How the French reinvented dozens of English words
jobs available