Cape Town - Former Springbok centre Wynand Olivier has announced his intention to retire.
Olivier’s English club, Worcester Warriors, confirmed on Thursday that Olivier will retire at the end of the current European season.
Olivier’s glittering career includes 38 Springbok caps, a World Cup winners’ medal as part of Jake White’s triumphant squad in France in 2007 and Super Rugby and Currie Cup success with Bulls in South Africa.
Olivier, 35, joined the Warriors from French Top 14 club Montpellier in October 2015 and made his 50th appearance against Saracens in the Premiership Rugby Cup at Allianz Park last November.
“I have had a long career and made some great memories. have been very privileged to play the game I love for so long,” Olivier told the Worcester Warriors’ official website.
“It will be undoubtedly be an emotional experience leaving the game but I’m excited about what the future holds and to follow my ambitions outside of rugby.”
As a World Cup-winner Olivier is a member of one of rugby’s most exclusive clubs but winning trophies is only one part of his career.
“I think people define success in different ways. I’m proud of what I have achieved. However, it is about looking forward and maintaining the ambition and drive that I have learnt from rugby into my transition,” Olivier said.
“I have made a lot of friends along the way and these relationships have only made my career more enjoyable.”
A serious hamstring injury restricted Olivier’s availability last season but he returned to play a pivotal role in the memorable European Challenge Cup victory over Stade Francais in Paris in October.
He helped the Warriors reach the quarter-finals of the European Challenge Cup and Premiership Rugby Cup this season and has also helped to develop the next generation of Warriors players with the Cavaliers in recent Premiership Rugby Shield matches.
“It has been great to see youngsters come through the academy and see them reaching their potential. That has been very satisfying,” Olivier said.
“Obviously I had that injury last year where I tore the hamstring off the bone. Injuries are part of the rugby experience but it has allowed me to pass on my experience to some of the younger athletes and I have enjoyed working with them.”
The Warriors’ Director of Rugby Alan Solomons, a former South Africa assistant coach, commented: “Wynand has had a terrific career. He is a superb rugby player, a wonderful bloke and a great team man.
“He is the consummate professional. It has been a pleasure and a privilege to work with him. We wish Wynand all the very best for the future."