With 112 Ulster caps to his name, Louis Ludik has announced his retirement from the professional game after seven years with the province.
Since arriving in Belfast, Ludik has been no stranger to the try-line, which quickly earned him legendary status with Ulster supporters.
The South African spent the early days of his playing career honing his skills in Super Rugby before joining French club Agen for a season in 2013.
His move to Ulster Rugby marked the beginning of a seven-year stretch which included a try on his debut against the Scarlets, his 100th appearance in front of a packed-out Kingspan Stadium against the same Welsh side, and more recently, claiming a brace of tries when Ulster faced the Dragons at home in this season’s Guinness PRO14.
Reflecting on his time with the Ulstermen, the 34-year-old Ludik said: “From the first moment it was announced that I was coming to Belfast, I was accepted, supported, and I felt at home.
“I gave it my all, every single time I stepped onto the field, to try and give back and continue the legacy of those who came before me, and to be deserving of the supporters who stood up for us, every week, without fail.
“Thank you to everyone who has made my time at Ulster – the place I now call home – so special. Now the time has come for me to ‘Stand Up For The Ulster Men’ next to the field for the rest of my days.”
Ulster head coach Dan McFarland commented: “Louis’ contribution to the province will have a lasting legacy. As a top-class professional both on and off the field, we will miss what he brought to Ulster as a player and, more significantly, as a person where he brought a sense of enjoyment and positivity to everything he did.
“We wish Louis and his family the very best for the future and thank him for everything he has given to Ulster over the past seven years.”
Ulster captain Iain Henderson added: “Louis has brought so much to the team during his time with the province, and I would like to thank him for that on behalf of all the players he has ran out onto the pitch alongside, both past and present.
“He is a true Ulster man now, and we are proud to call him one of our own.”