Australia coach Cheika hails retiring Wallaby Mumm

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Australia coach Michael Cheika has paid tribute to Dean Mumm after the second row announced he will retire from professional rugby at the end of the year.

Waratahs forward Mumm intends to spend his time away from the game raising money for charity and has a hike to the North Pole on the agenda for 2018.

The 33-year-old made his international debut against Ireland in 2008 but fell out of favour in the years that followed so he headed to the Premiership with Exeter Chiefs.

On returning to Waratahs in 2015 he forced his way back into Wallabies reckoning and was part of Cheika's World Cup squad that was beaten in the final by New Zealand - Mumm captaining them in their pool match with Uruguay.

His career will come to an end later this year, but he remains available to add to his 57 Test caps and the international coach expects him to do so.

"Dean's not only a great footballer but a great person and one that I have really enjoyed coaching," Cheika said. 

"He made a big decision to return to Australia in 2015 and stepped up his game to a new level, while also taking on more responsibility in developing others around him.

"Dean's got a real plan for his life post-rugby and we will support with that in any way we can, but he has still got plenty of opportunity to leave a legacy in the gold jersey and I expect he will do everything he can to do that before he hangs up the boots."

Mumm explained that while the decision was a surprise to some, he had known since the start of 2017 that it would be his last campaign.

"It's something I've been thinking about for a while," the lock said. 

"When you get to be the oldest in the team and at the back of the bus there's probably only one way out and retirement's something I've been working towards for a couple of years now.

"I was pretty clear with Daryl [Gibson, Waratahs coach] and the boys, they've known that this was going to be my last year.

"That makes it easy because a lot of the teams will be the last time you play them. I really appreciate all the boys being behind me to try and help me celebrate what's been a pretty fun career."