Racing 92 out-half Johan Goosen shocked both his club and indeed the rugby world in general when his retirement was confirmed on Friday.
The Springbok has called it a day at the age of just 24, a move which angered the Top 14 champions right before their Champions Cup defeat at the hands of Glasgow at Scotstoun.
Speaking to BT Sport before the game, Racing 92 kicking coach Ronan O’Gara added to the air of mystery and surprise by admitting that he only found out about Goosen’s retirement on social media earlier on Friday:
“I’m scratching my head too to be honest. I found out on Twitter, looking at it earlier and I’m part of the management team.
“Obviously there’s been a bit of unrest for the past few weeks but that news completely shocked everyone, obviously it’s not ideal preparation.
“He was part of a fantastic team, getting to a final and winning a final and when he’s in the right frame of mind we need him.
“At breakfast we’ll get on top of that and see what we can do.”
— BT Sport Rugby (@btsportrugby) December 16, 2016
The French side had earlier confirmed the news of Goosen’s decision to walk away from the game at such a young age to become a commercial director, and even suggested that legal action could be taken against the player and whoever was found to have advised him to retire:
“Johan Goosen, whose contract was largely re-evaluated less than a year ago, now claims to be able to get rid of it in a fantastic manner.
“He announced today that he had made the unbelievable decision to stop his career as a player and return to South Africa, with an alleged hiring as a commercial director.
“We regret of course that such a young and talented player is mistaken and declares to abandon professional rugby – as it seems obvious that this role of commercial director is incompatible with a high-level sports practice.
“We would like to add that Racing 92 have always largely supported Johan Goosen both morally and financially, even though he has unfortunately demonstrated lately a certain lack of responsibility towards his partners, his coaches and more broadly of all the members of his club and his supporters.
“Hopefully he will quickly realise that respect for a contract, like that of the given word, is the basis of all human and professional relationships.”
“Of course, the club reserve the right to give such conduct all appropriate judicial follow-up, both with regard to Johan Goosen and those who advise him.”
It is unknown at this time what action at this time Racing 92 will take (there is a good possibility that even they aren’t fully certain right now), but this bizarre story is far from over.
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