Italy lock Quintin Geldenhuys has decided to retire at 35 years old and to dedicate his final playing years to his club Zebre.
The South African-born second-row has played in Italy since 2005 after playing for Viadana, before moving to Aironi and now plays for Zebre where he has been given 50 caps.
“I arrived in Italy in 2005, I will be forever grateful to this country and to all the Italian institutions for what they given me. It is where my children were born and so it will be our home for years to come” he said.
“To be able to wear the Italy shirt and take part in two Rugby World Cups is more than I ever dreamed of when I arrived in Viadana. I want to thank my Club, the Federation, all the coaches who believed in me over the years, my teammates and the fans of the wonderful national team, they will remain forever with me.”
“In this final stage of my career I want to devote myself to the club and help Zebras as long as I possibly can, and find more time to spend with my children.”
Italy coach Conor O’Shea said: “We would have preferred Quintin to say goodbye with a victory, because of his contribution to this new chapter of Italian rugby has been immense.
“Not many have the opportunity to take the field knowing that it will be their last international match. He will be missed by all of us, but I am sure he will continue to contribute to the Zebras and growth of their youth players.”