Notorious Springboks hardman to hang up his boots at the end of the season

Dylan Coetzee
Willem Alberts on the charge during his Springboks days.

Willem Alberts on the charge during his Springboks days.

Veteran forward Willem Alberts has confirmed he will not be looking to extend his contract at the end of the season bringing the curtain down on a 19-year career.

Alberts who is commonly referred to as ‘The Bone Collector’ after his brutal physicality on both sides of the ball is currently playing for the Lions, where he made his professional debut in 2005, and he is pleased to complete the full circle in his career.

Veteran of the game

The experienced campaigner played in both the second and back-row and also featured for the Sharks and Stade Francais in and around his 43 Test caps for the Springboks where once again he was lauded for his extreme physicality.

The 39-year-old admitted to the Rapport that the prospect of retiring is a difficult one to internalise but he is happy to be finishing off where it all started.

“It’s always in the back of a guy’s head. It’s going to happen, and you have to stop playing somewhere, but you hardly want to believe it,” Alberts told Rapport.

“The circle is almost complete now. I started with the Lions as a young man and to be able to finish it now is a really nice story and feeling.”

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Lions on the prowl

Alberts has the opportunity to go out with a bang as the Lions have shown great form this season and marched into the United Rugby Championship playoff spots after beating Connacht in Galway.

It would be incredible to see the Johannesburg side feature in the playoffs and secure Champions Cup qualification for next season.

The Lions face URC colleagues Benetton in the Challenge Cup playoffs in two weeks, and Alberts will be looking to help out where possible in the hopes of bringing silverware to Johannesburg for the first time.

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