Ulster’s ex-South Africa flanker Jean Deysel is to retire from professional rugby with immediate effect.
He played 16 times for Ulster since joining at the start of the 2017-18 season and his last game was the defeat by Munster last month.
The 33-year-old was capped four times by the Springboks and played for the Lions and the Sharks in his homeland.
“2018 will be the end of my rugby career, but also the start of a new journey off the field,” said Deysel.
Deysel, who also had short spells with Toyota Verblitz and Munster, added: “Looking back over the last 15 years there were some highs and lows, a good couple of laughs, and a few tears as well, but the thing that made the journey worthwhile is the people I met along the way.
“We really enjoyed our time in Belfast and it will always be our home away from home.
“I want to thank Ulster Rugby for giving me the opportunity to represent this proud province. I am taking back many memories to cherish and will definitely miss the support and friendliness of the fans since our arrival in Belfast.”
“It is always sad when a player retires and this time is no different. Jean is someone who is not only hugely respected by the players and staff here at Ulster Rugby, but more widely across the rugby world,” said Ulster’s operations director Bryn Cunningham.
“He can rightly be proud of what he’s achieved in a memorable career, during which he played at the highest level.
“Jean’s abrasive style of play was great to watch and he will be remembered as being a warrior on the pitch.
“Off the pitch, Jean has remained humble and respectful of others, key characteristics we hold in such high regard within the Ulster Rugby culture, and has been a pleasure to work with.
“He is a very popular member of the squad and his presence will definitely be missed.”
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