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.
“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.”
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.
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