Bok stalwart bows out
Lions and former Bok loose forward Wikus van Heerden has announced his retirement due to injury, bringing to an end 14 years as a professional.
"My knees simply won't allow me to go on," the 33-year-old told the Golden Lions' official website.
"I thought the break at year-end in 2011 would let me recover fully after my knee operation, but when I was concussed shortly after the season started this year and also had more knee problems, it became obvious that I would have to make this decision at some time."
Essentially a flanker, Van Heerden helped the Lions out when he played lock in 2011 and 2012 and was part of South Africa's 2007 RWC squad.
"If I could have if all over, I would not have it any other way than how it was," said Van Heerden.
He played 114 provincial matches, of which 99 were for the Golden Lions between 2001 and 2006 and again in 2010 and 2011. He also played for the Blue Bulls on 15 occasions between 2007 and 2008 and had a spell in England with Saracens in 2009 and 2010.
Van Heerden also played in 97 Super Rugby matches during his career. Of those, 20 were for the Lions from 2010 to 2012, 38 for the Bulls in 2003, 2007 and 2008 and 39 for the Cats in 2002 and between 2004 and 2006.