Ulster Rugby have confirmed that Jean Deysel is retiring from professional rugby with immediate effect. The South African back rower enjoyed an excellent career that saw him win four caps for the Springboks.
In addition to representing Ulster, Jean Deysel had stints with the Lions and the Sharks in his homeland, as well as short spells with Toyota Verblitz and Ulster’s provincial rivals Munster.
Commenting on the announcement, the 33-year-old forward said: “Looking back over the last 15 years, there were some highs, some 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.
“2018 will be the end of my rugby career, but also the start of a new journey off the field. I would like to firstly thank the Lord Jesus Christ for blessing me with the ability to play and then secondly my family and close friends, the Lions and Sharks franchises, team-mates and coaches over the past 15 years for their support, encouragement and motivation.
“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.”
Ulster’s operations director Bryn Cunningham added: “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.
“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. On behalf of everyone at Ulster Rugby, I’d like to wish Jean, Cindi and Zanru all the best for the future.”