Cape Town - Springbok and Cheetahs legend Heinrich Brussow has been forced to retire from rugby due to injury.

The 33-year-old, who played 23 Tests for the Boks between 2008 and 2015, had been playing for English club Northampton Saints since January 2018. 

The club confirmed on Wednesday that Brussow had been forced to make the decision following a series of injuries. 

"I've been battling injuries for some time and made the difficult decision to call time on my career," Brussow was quoted as saying on the club's official website

"I want to say thank you to all of Saints' loyal supporters who have done nothing but offer encouragement during my time here.

"I wish I could have pulled on this famous jersey more often, but unfortunately injuries have prevented me from doing that."

Brussow, considered one of the most gifted fetchers in recent Springbok history, had spent eight seasons playing Super Rugby with the Cheetahs before making the move to Japan where he spent five seasons with the Docomo Red Hurricanes. 

He was a member of the 2011 Springbok World Cup squad which reached the quarter-finals under Peter de Villiers. 

- Compiled by Lloyd Burnard