Lions and Springbok scrumhalf Ross Cronje has called time on his professional rugby career.
Cronje, who made over 150 appearances for the Johannesburg franchise across all competitions, reflected on an illustrious career which featured several remarkable moments.
“Our Currie Cup victory in 2015 is definitely up there, but a close second was playing in the Super Rugby final. Despite the result not going our way, it was amazing to experience it all,” he recalled on Thursday.
A former captain of the side, Cronje believes the current squad competing in the United Rugby Championship will adjust quite quickly and could be strong contenders as the tournament progresses.
“I’ve heard positive things from the guys about their recent tour to the UK, coupled with the excitement of playing in a new tournament,” said Cronje.
“It may have been a tough start for us, but the guys seem to be finding their feet and I am positive that success is around the corner.”
Capped 10 times by the Springboks, Cronje will now swop his rugby kit for corporate attire as he tackles the next phase of his life.
“My focus now shifts to the property world where I’ll be joining a property group specialising in a range of commercial and industrial portfolios. It’s something I’m really looking forward to … embarking on a second career.”
Lions Rugby Company CEO Rudolf Straeuli thanked Cronje for his valuable contribution to the franchise and to the game of rugby in South Africa.
“Ross has been a prime example of a true professional. Besides being a quality player, he displayed immense maturity within the leadership group and served as an outstanding example to the younger players in our system,” said Straeuli.
“We wish him and his family well as they embark on a life after rugby,” he concluded.