Rugby: Strauss announces retirement

Andries Strauss 1
Strauss with former Edinburgh team-mate Roddy Grant, who retired midway through the 2015/16 rugby season due to failing to recover from a knee injury // Photo Andries Strauss

Edinburgh centre Andries Strauss announced this week that he has retired from rugby with immediate effect.

The 32-year-old played his 50th and final match for the capital club against Cardiff Blues on Saturday and described playing for the side, which he joined in 2014, as a “huge honour and privilege”.

“I have played rugby for most my life – as far back as I can remember – and it’s finally come time for me to call it quits and move on,” he said.

“I’ve had a great time playing the game and have been blessed to have been doing it at a high level for so long.

“I’m grateful for all that came with it; the victories and defeats; the injuries and recoveries; the blood, sweat and sometimes tears; the trophies and runners-up medals but most of all, I’m grateful for the friendships and memories that I have made.

“A career means nothing if it’s not shared with people you care for and who care for you and in rugby, it’s impossible to succeed on your own.

Strauss ends his career a two-time Currie Cup winner, which he won during his time with the Cheetahs and was part of the Edinburgh team that made history last season, becoming the first Scottish team to play in a European rugby final.

He said: “My mind and spirit is willing but my body is urging me to stop, constantly reminding me that I’ve pushed it through enough pain barriers and pushed the physical boundaries for too long.

“It all started in my parent’s backyard in Harrismith playing against my brothers. The game has taken me to places that I could only have ever dreamed of as a young boy and I have competed, with and against, many players that I looked up to as heroes while growing up and admire.

Andries Strauss 2
Celebrating beating Bordeaux-Begles with team-mates Tim Visser and Sam Beard in 2014 // Photo Andries Strauss // Twitter

“I’ll miss many things; the atmosphere of sold out stadiums; the big tackles and long range tries; the excited uncertainty before every game and the team talks and build-ups to big matches; the satisfaction of winning crunch games and disappointments after a narrow defeat.

“Most of all, I’ll miss the post-match camaraderie that goes hand in hand with being part of a team and the cold beers with friends who have become like brothers to me.

“Rugby has taught me, to be honest, accountable and respectful, but most of all its taught me to be brave, not run from fear but straight at it because of courage, is not the absence of fear but the ability to overcome it.”

He represented South Africa at Sevens and played against the Barbarians on the Springboks’ end of year tour in 2010.

“I want to take this opportunity to say thank you to everyone who has had an influence on my career.

“Firstly, thank you to my wife Colleen who supported me through all the highs and lows and moved around the world so that I could live out my dream.

“To my parents who have given me every opportunity to pursue a career in rugby, instilling in me the values of being humble and working hard and to my brothers, for keeping me from becoming soft.

“It will be unfair to single out any individual coaches or players but thank you to all of you for making my modest career extremely special.

“Lastly, to my one-and-only agent Stephen Weyers; thanks for putting up with me and helping direct and guide my career from start to finish.

“I look forward to what the future holds and the new challenges that await my wife and I but most of all, I look forward to waking up without any aches and pains and to what will hopefully be a long successful career in social golf, Goodbye.”

 

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Kaylan Geekie

I am a South African living in Scotland with a passion for sports. While I was at junior school, South Africa came out of isolation and was re-admitted back on the world stage and, this is when my interest in sports began. Upon leaving Durban High School, I began coaching rugby, cricket, hockey and football at a junior level, for boys and girls, from 6-13 years of age. I'm currently working for Sports Digital Media on their Super Rugby website, superxv.com and freelance as Scotland's cricket correspondent for Cricket Scotland. My sporting interests are predominantly rugby, football, cricket, tennis, golf and the National Football League (NFL). At home, I regularly find myself involved in 24-hour sports marathons. My teams are Liverpool Football Club, Springboks, Blitzbokke, Proteas, Green Bay Packers and FC Barcelona and I have a soft spot for Scottish sports, especially their cricket and rugby teams. Greatest sporting moments: South Africa's 2 Rugby World Cup triumphs, Liverpool's 2001 Treble and 2005 Miracle in Istanbul - where we won it 5 times. Biggest disappointments. Too many to mention but some dishonourable mentions go to South Africa's tragic losses in global cricket events, Liverpool's 2013/14 heart-breaking finish in the Premier League title race, the Sharks catastrophic 2007 Super Rugby Final loss to the Bulls and, any of the Packers' playoff losses. I could go on and on but that is a sports fan's lot. “To live is to suffer, to survive is to find some meaning in the suffering.” - Nietzsche

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