Lions flanker Tecklenburg leaves rugby for farming

Lions flanker Warwick Tecklenburg has retired from rugby with immediate effect to focus on his family’s farming business.

Tecklenburg, 30, made 44 Super Rugby appearances for the Lions after joining the franchise from South African rivals the Bulls in 2013.

“It has always been my dream to play professional rugby at the highest level,” he said. “It has been an absolute pleasure and privilege to play for the Lions and to be part of such a great team and professional set-up. I owe a special debt of gratitude to coach Johan Ackerman who gave me a chance and backed me when no one else did.

“I have many special memories of our achievements as a team, from winning the Vodacom Cup in 2013 up until last years’ Vodacom Super Rugby Final. It has always been my intention to join my family in the family farming business after rugby. It has been a very difficult decision to make but I feel the time is right for me to move on.

“Within the Lions system there is a wealth of talent and I am sure they will continue to go from strength to strength. I would just like to thank all at the Lions rugby union, from the administrators to my team mates, for the incredible journey it has been these last few years and lastly but most important, all our Lions fans who have supported us through thick and thin. I will always be a Lion for life.”

Ackerman added: “His role was massive in making the union a proud union again. Warwick’s character was inspiring to the team and you always knew what you got from him and that was 100 percent. May he and his family be blessed on their path after rugby.”