Lions centre, Alwyn Hollenbach, has announced his immediate retirement from rugby due to a recurring shoulder injury.
The 30-year-old joined the Lions in 2009 and has since represented the union 37 times in the Currie Cup, 24 times in Super Rugby and 19 times in the Vodacom Cup.
The centre has been struggling with the same shoulder injury for quite some time and in 2014 it worsened during Super Rugby against the Brumbies. It is the same shoulder that he injured this year in the Currie Cup against the Pumas.
“It is not a decision that I had any control over and I still had plans to play in France for two years. But one can’t plan these things," he said.
"I was blessed with a long rugby career with lots of highs, like the four Currie Cup Finals that I played in, and won, but the last one with the Lions is the most memorable and definitely a highlight in my career."
He thanked his family for their unwavering support of his career as well as the Golden Lions coaching staff, whom he describes as "amazing, sincere people who was always there for me, on and offom the field."
Head Coach Johan Ackermann said, "It is sad to hear of Alwyn, but I want to thank him for his contribution to Lions rugby over the last couple of years. He was a leader on the field who showed great character and a true team man.
"I want to thank him personally for his support of me the last two and a half years as head coach and that he stayed with the Lions during the tough times. I wish him well for his endeavors and know he will make a success of it."