Bulls prop Morne Mellett has retired from rugby with immediate effect due to medical advice.
The prop suffered vertebral artery dissection in July and was ruled out of rugby for the remainder of the year. Recent medical advice suggested that the 26-year-old player calls it a day.
"It is sad to end my career like this, but I have no regrets," Mellett said on Thursday.
"I had a good career with an unbelievable group of guys and was part of the best union in the world since I left school. We have achieved so much together and although I would have wanted to go on and play Test rugby in the future, my health and family remains most important.
"I would like to take this opportunity to specifically thank my wife, Claudine, for her unconditional love and support throughout my career and especially now, as well as my brother Leon.” he said.
Mellett represented Valke at Craven Week in 2006 and 2007 and started playing for the Blue Bulls U19’s in 2007 already.
He represented the Bulls in 37 matches in the Super Rugby competition and 10 times in the Currie Cup. He also played for UP-Tuks in the Varsity Cup and represented the Junior Springboks at the 2009 Junior World Championship.
Xander Janse van Rensburg, High Performance Manager of the Blue Bulls Company (Pty) Ltd, thanked Mellett for his contribution to the team and union.
"We are very sad to hear the news," he said.
"Morne has been a great team man over many years and his contributions to all Blue Bulls teams are appreciated and will not be forgotten.
"We want to thank him for everything he did for the Vodacom Bulls and Vodacom Blue Bulls and we wish him well in his career going forward and life after rugby. If he applies himself in business with the same professionalism and dedication than as a Bulls player, he will do very well."