Former Stormers, Western Province and Bath loose forward Nick Köster will officially retire at the end of this week.
The 29-year-old played for the Stormers between 2009 and 2012, having made his WP debut in 2008 at the age of 19. However, he suffered a knee injury in his debut season that continued to plague him throughout his career.
Köster made the move to England with Bath in 2012 before joining Bristol a season later where he stayed until 2017, helping them win promotion to the Premiership.
But he was one of several players released prior to last season, which led to him joining Cambridge University to complete a Master of Studies in Social Innovation.
Köster, who has captained the University’s rugby side, told CambridgeshireLive that he will hang his boots up after a varsity match this week.
‘I started playing as a six-year-old out in a farming area of South Africa, where we played at 8 on Saturday mornings when it was freezing and your toes would turn blue, but I loved it and enjoyed the sport so much from a young age,’ Köster said.
‘When I did get to the professional side of the sport it turned out to be very different to how I expected and very different to the reason I fell in love with the game. For me to come back to the amateur setting and finish my career here in a game like this is a really special thing to be able to do.
‘People fall in love with the amateur values of the game, and for me to be able to play two years of amateur rugby again after 10 years as a pro has been surreal. Being surrounded by people playing the game for the love of it again, I get to finish it off on my terms. It will be my last game, and apart from the odd drunken sevens tournament, I won’t be playing much rugby after this.
‘One more game, and I’ll lead from the front and do everything in my power to make sure I leave that game feeling I have done myself, the university and everyone else justice.’