Ricky Januarie announces his retirement from international rugby
From the heading to this post you will notice that this commentator is one of those who have been taking the mickey out of Ricky Januarie’s recent physical condition.
I cannot speak for the comments in the media, but here at BlitzBokke.com we simply called it as we saw it. And it was noticeable. Even the player himself will agree.
However, don’t for a minute assume that because of our comments, we didn’t have respect for the diminutive guy.
Ricky Januarie deserves to leave the international game with his head held high, for he was a great servant to rugby in general and all the teams he represented.
Nobody can say that Ricky Januarie was not combative (Pic: Getty Images on espnscrum.com)
He made his provincial debut for Boland in 2002 before moving to the MTN Golden Lions. He spent six years in Johannesburg before returning to the Western Cape in 2008 to join DHL Western Province. He recently made his 50th Super Rugby appearance for the DHL Stormers – and 93rd for all teams in the competition.
Januarie made the first of 47 Test caps for the Springboks under coach Jake White against Uruguay in East London in 2005 – his last was against New Zealand in Soweto last year.
He collected winners’ medals at the World Under-21 championships in 2002 and Rugby World Cup in 2007 and was part of the Springbok squad that won the Castle Tri-Nations Series and the series against the British & Irish Lions in 2009.
Springbok coach Peter De Villiers paid tribute to Januarie, saying:
“Ricky has been a great servant to the Springboks and to all the teams he has represented over a long and successful career. He is a combative and fearless player and has been a part of some memorable Springbok performances. I wish him all the best for the new chapter in his playing career.”
De Villiers added that he was comfortable to release Januarie as his inclusion in the preliminary Rugby World Cup squad was to offer experienced cover should other senior scrumhalves suffer injury.
“Ricky and I chatted and he knew where he stood in our Rugby World Cup plans. He has reached the stage in his career where he wants to move on and there was no reason to stand in his way.”
Januarie has been released from his contract by DHL Western Province and will join French club Lyon in time for the start of the new European season.
“I’ve had a great run in South African rugby and have some fantastic memories but the time has come to move on,” said Januarie. “Lyon have offered me a new beginning and I want to concentrate all my efforts on helping them in their first season in the French Top 14.”
We will certainly remember Januarie fondly, if only for THAT memorable try for the Springboks in Dunedin.
” One more, Lofty!” Take a bow Ricky Januarie. Springbok.(Pic: Simon Baker/Reuters in The Guardian)