Cheetahs flanker Gerhard Olivier has announced that he will retire from professional rugby with immediate effect following a Guinness PRO 14 neck injury sustained earlier in 2020 during a match versus the Dragons in Wales. “I injured my neck 15 minutes into the last game that we played in the PRO14,” he explained.

ADVERTISEMENT

“It was against the Dragons. I was tackled from behind and I was kind of pegged head first in the ground. I kept on playing, but the neck injury was way worse than what we expected. I expected to make a full recovery being back in training with the boys now. With a mindset where you think everything is fine and then it is not, it is pretty devastating.”

The 27-year-old made 53 appearances for the Cheetahs, his debut coming in a Super Rugby game against the Waratahs in 2015 as a replacement forward. 

Video Spacer

Video Spacer
South African World Cup winner Joel Stransky guests on The Lockdown, the RugbyPass pandemic interview series

He was part of the Shimla team who won the Varsity Cup in 2015 and proved himself worthy by coming through the ranks. However, his career was plagued by a serious ankle injury which saw him missing out on quite a lot of rugby over a two-year period. 

Olivier made a big impact and established himself as the first-choice flanker during the 2018/19 PRO14 season and he was among the leading defenders in the competition.

“I would say that the 2015 Varsity Cup was pretty special. Going unbeaten and smashing everyone was great. A lot of our friends came through that season, and in the same year we also all played in the Vodacom Cup, Super Rugby and the Currie Cup. 

“So, it was a big year for us to break the mould and start playing good rugby. That was definitely the best year for me. Playing in Ireland in the first PRO14 games was also a highlight.

ADVERTISEMENT

“Winning the Currie Cup in 2019 was great, I loved that. The first three games of the PRO14 was great when we smashed three teams that we’d never been able to beat before.”

Mailing List

Sign up to our mailing list for a weekly digest from the wide world of rugby.

Sign Up Now