Golden Lions centre calls it a day

Date published: September 22 2015

Golden Lions centre Alwyn Hollenbach has been forced to retire with immediate effect due to a recurring shoulder injury.

Hollenbach, whose career started at the Cheetahs in 2005, also enjoyed a brief spell at the Griquas before joining the Lions in 2009.

During his tenure at the Lions, Hollenbach made 37 appearances in the Currie Cup, 24 in Super Rugby and 19 in the Vodacom Cup.

However, during the latter stages of his career he has been stifled by injury, with the most recent incident occurring during a fixture against the Pumas earlier this year. 

The 30-year-old has been forced to think long and hard about his career and said that this was not a decision that he had made lightly.

"It is not a decision that I had any control over and I still had plans to play in France for two years," added Hollenbach.

"But one can't plan these things. 

"I was blessed with a long rugby career with lots of highs, like the four Currie Cup finals that I played in, and won. But the last one with the Lions is the most memorable and definitely a highlight in my career.

Lions coach Johan Ackermann was disappointed by the news of Hollenbach's retirement, and said he had made a meaningful contribution to Lions rugby during his time with the Johannesburg-based side.

"It is sad to hear of Alwyn," he remarked.

"But I want to thank him for his contribution to Lions rugby over the last couple of years. He was a leader on the field who showed great character and a true team man. 

"I want to thank him personally for his support of me the last two and a half years as head coach and that he stayed with the Lions during the tough times.

"I wish him well for his endeavors and know he will make a success of it."