Bulls and Blue Bulls stalwart Derick Kuün announced his retirement from professional rugby with immediate effect on Wednesday.
The three-time Super Rugby gold medallist, who has also won the Currie Cup and Vodacom Cup as a Blue Bulls player, cited business reasons for his decision and swaps Loftus Versfeld to join the family farming business near Balfour.
Kuün recently played in his 100th provincial match for the Blue Bulls after making his debut against Border in 2004.
He also captained the Blue Bulls at all junior and senior levels, as he did with the SA Schools side in 2002.
He played at national level for the Springboks Sevens team as well as the national Under-19 and Under-21 sides, representing his country at the IRB Junior World Cups in 2003, 2004 and 2005.
He made 68 appearances for the Bulls in Super Rugby at hooker and flank, winning titles in 2007, 2009 and 2010
Commenting on the news, Head of Rugby at the Blue Bulls Company (Pty) Ltd, Heyneke Meyer, said it is a sad day for the Bulls and Blue Bulls, but respects Kuün’s decision to call it a day.
"Derick was a true team man and a great stalwart for the union. He is the perfect example of the type of player we want to represent the Blue Bulls and Bulls. He proved himself to be a great leader, played with courage and skill and always gave everything he had. He also had an uncanny understanding of team dynamics and because of that, has proved to be an outstanding leader," Meyer said.
"We will miss his contributions on and off the field and wish him well in his new ventures."
Kuün thanked the union, teammates and fans for their contribution to his career.
"It is with a heavy heart that I announce my retirement, but a couple of business opportunities came along and I have to act on them immediately. I will join a family business," Kuün said.
"First of all, I would like to thank the union and company for the opportunity of being part of the Blue Bulls and Bulls family for nine years of my life. I learned a lot about life in this time. I also appreciate the amount of time that was invested in me from management level."
Kuün also thanked his fellow players.
"I can only say thanks to all those players that I played with during the years. There were great times and bad times and all of that formed me to what I am today. I will miss my rugby friends greatly, as we have bonded into a special group. To the fans, a special word of thanks. Your support is very important and there is no greater feeling running out to a packed Loftus Versfeld. My blood will always be Blue."
Kuün also thanked his family.
"My wife and family gave me all the support I needed to become a member of this successful team and without those, I would not have achieved anything."
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