Eagles captain retires

It is sad to lose a captain of the calibre of Ryno van der Merwe, SWD Eagles coach Johann Lerm said on Tueaday.

Lerm reacted after Van der Merwe announced his retirement from the game due to a back injury. He was injured in a match earlier this season against the Leopards at Outeniqua Park.

“It is not easy to say good bye to Ryno. He brought tremendous spirit and character to the side since he joined us from the Cheetahs.

“His leadership and abillity will be surely missed,” Lerm said.

Van der Merwe (30) said his rehabilitation was going well and “according to plan”.

He said although he could still play for another three to four years, there is a possibillity that the injury could make life difficult in ten to 15 years from now.

“That is why I decided to quit. I made the decision all by myself.

“However, I would love to stay involved in rugby,” Van der Merwe said.

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