Tecklenburg blow for Lions

Lions flank Warwick Tecklenburg has retired from rugby in order to focus on his family's farming business.

On Tuesday, the Lions confirmed that Tecklenburg, who was one of the stars for the franchise in a record-breaking 2016 campaign, has decided to focus on his family's farming business. The flanker has retired from rugby with immediate effect.

Tecklenburg, 30, has 44 Super Rugby caps for the Lions. In 2016 he featured in 16 Super Rugby matches.

'It has been an absolute pleasure and privilege to play for the Lions and be part of such a great team and professional setup,' Tecklenburg said. 'I owe a special debt of gratitude to coach Johan Ackermann who gave me a chance and backed me when no one else did. I have many special memories of our achievements as a team, from winning the Vodacom Cup in 2013 up until last years' Super Rugby Final.

'It has always been my intention to join my family in the family farming business after rugby. It has been a very difficult decision to make but I feel the time is right for me to move on.'

Ackermann described Tecklenburg as an inspirational figure within the team set-up.

'The team and I want to thank Warwick for his great contribution to the Lions,' said Ackermann. 'His role was massive in making the union a proud union again.

'Warwick’s character was inspiring to the team and you always knew what you got from him and that was 100 percent. May he and his family be blessed on their path after rugby.'

Photo: Sydney Seshibedi/Gallo Images

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Jon Cardinelli