Scarlets and former Vodacom Bulls prop Werner Kruger has announced that he will be retiring from all rugby at the end of the season.
Kruger will end his 16-year career with more than a century of appearances for the Bulls in the Currie Cup and in Super Rugby, while he also has over 100 appearances for the Scarlets, having been a key member of the squad since his arrival in west Wales five years ago.
Capped four times by the Springboks, Kruger has made 122 appearances in a Scarlets jersey and was part of the squad that clinched the PRO12 title in stunning fashion in 2017.
During his time with the Bulls, he was part of the teams that won back-to-back Super 14 titles in 2009 and 2010.
The 36-year-old feels the time is right to hang up his playing boots.
‘You hear the statement “You know when you know” and you never really understand until it comes across your path,’ Kruger said.
‘I feel very privileged and very blessed to have been able to have played this game that we love for the past 16-plus years.
‘Rugby has been a passion of mine from being a young kid growing up, dreaming of playing for the Springboks and it has been a real privilege to have played for so long.
‘When you are in it you don’t really realise the sense of achievement going from game to game; when you are at the end and take stock you feel really grateful to have been able to play as many games as I have. A special thank you to my family for their unwavering support and commitment.’
Kruger will return to South Africa at the end of this season, taking with him that PRO12 winners’ medal and fond memories of his time in west Wales.
‘I am a financial planner, so I will pick that up and see where my opportunities arise and hopefully there will also be some doors back in the game that can open,’ Kruger said on his plans after rugby.
‘I would like to stay involved in some form. A few more hours on the golf course will also be nice!’
🗣️ “I have loved every minute of my time here. I just want to say a thank you to the Scarlets family, the supporters who came out week after week; each and every one of them has made our time here as a family extra special.”
— Scarlets Rugby (@scarlets_rugby) February 1, 2021
Photo: Johan Rynners/Getty Images