(Photo: Getty Images)
By Adam Ellis
Los Pumas great Juan Martin Hernandez has been forced to retire from professional rugby due to a knee injury.
The Argentine playmaker revealed in a interview with the French media that ‘it’s finished’ after suffering significant damage to his knee playing for Jaguares against the Reds last month.
The 35-year-old explained to Midi Olympique: “The cruciate ligaments aren’t affected but it’s very painful and the demands of Super Rugby don’t allow me to play in this competition diminished. So I’ve decided to stop playing rugby. There you go, it’s finished.
Hernandez rose to national stardom after firing Argentina to a third-place winners’ medal at the 2007 Rugby World Cup in France.
His diplays in that tournament and for Stade Francais would cement the adoration of Top 14 clubs, as moves to Racing 92 and Toulon followed the six years he spent with the Parisians during their heyday of the mid-2000s.
Excelling at centre, full-back and as fly-half, Hernandez finishes his career with 74 caps for Argentina and with the affectionate nickname of ‘El Mago’, The Magician.
Speaking of where he would produce his magic next in life, Hernandez said time with his family will be paramount after jet-setting across time zones with the Jaguares for the past two years.
“First of all I’ll take six months off for me and my children. I’m going to be a normal father, taking the little ones to school in the morning and collecting them in the evening,” he said.
“If in one year I am missing rugby, I will ask if I can be useful in some way or another for an Argentinian team. Pumitas, and others. We will have to see.”
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