Dan Vickerman confided about transition difficulties after retiring from rugby

Dan Vickerman's death has shocked the rugby community.
CAMERON SPENCER/GETTY IMAGES

Dan Vickerman's death has shocked the rugby community.

Former Wallabies player Owen Finegan says team-mate Dan Vickerman confided to his friends about the difficulty in making the transition after retirement from rugby.

Vickerman, 37, died at his family home in Sydney on Saturday night. Police said there were no suspicious circumstances

"I think everyone was shocked by it. It was devastating — we all play on an old boys team called the Silver Foxes and Dan had expressed a number of times how difficult his transition was and it is difficult for a lot of professional sports people, especially when you've had 10 or more years at the top of the game," Finegan told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.

Dan Vickerman wins a lineout ball during the 2011 Rugby World Cup quarterfinal between Australia and South Africa in ...
CHRIS SKELTON/FAIRFAX NZ

Dan Vickerman wins a lineout ball during the 2011 Rugby World Cup quarterfinal between Australia and South Africa in Wellington.

South Africa-born Vickerman played for the Wallabies from 2002 to 2011, retiring after that year's World Cup.

READ MORE:
*  Ex-Wallabies lock Dean Vickerman dies

* Chris Jack pays tribute to Vickerman

Vickerman's wife, Sarah, and his two sons would be offered help, Finegan, who captained Vickerman at the Brumbies as well as playing alongside him for the Wallabies, said.

"I'm sure the whole rugby community will come around them. I've only heard for about — well it hasn't even been 24 hours and you think to yourself could you have done anything to help him," he said.

"He's got a young family and they'll need all the support they can get. [It will] definitely be something that everyone will be offering and be very supportive to Sarah and the kids and their needs."

The Australian Rugby Union said sporting bodies needed to be vigilant in monitoring players making the transition after their rugby careers.

The ARU's Rob Clarke said players and coaches had been offered counselling following Vickerman's death, the ABC reported.

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"We as administrators need to continue to be ever vigilant," he said.

"The transition from being a professional sportsman into the world after sport can be challenging, and we've seen it in a number of sports."

Vickerman's death has shocked the rugby world. Leading Wallabies and All Blacks players, who played with and against him, have paid their tributes.

Former All Blacks lock Chris Jack, a lineout opponent of Vickerman's, said he enjoyed playing against him but also socialising with him after their matches.

"He was a lovely guy and he deserves to be honoured properly."

Where to get help:

If you or someone you know needs help, please get in contact with these crisis services:

• Lifeline (open 24/7) – 0800 543 354

• Depression Helpline (open 24/7) – 0800 111 757

• Healthline (open 24/7) – 0800 611 116

• Samaritans (open 24/7) – 0800 726 666

• Suicide Crisis Helpline (open 24/7) – 0508 828 865 (0508 TAUTOKO). This is a service for people who may be thinking about suicide, or those who are concerned about family or friends.

• Your local Rural Support Trust – 0800 787 254 (0800 RURAL HELP)

 - Stuff

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