FORMER South Africa international Dewald Potgieter has announced his retirement from professional rugby after suffering an “unrecoverable” knee injury.

The flanker made 20 first-team appearances for Worcester Warriors since his arrival in February 2016 and captained the club on three occasions during the 2016-17 campaign.

But the 32-year-old has not played since damaging his knee in a pre-season clash against Hartpury in August 2017.

Potgieter returned to his home country to receive treatment but has decided to call it a day.

“After being sidelined the last two years following an unfortunate and unrecoverable knee injury, I’m retiring from pro rugby at the end of this Premiership season,” said Potgieter in a post on Twitter.

“During what was an extremely frustrating period, I’d like to extend my sincere gratitude towards the Warriors for affording me the time to transition to a post-sport milieu.

“I wish the club all the best in their future endeavours, and in particular all the people who made the experience an incredible final pitstop, concluding a supremely rewarding career.”

The forward has a decorated history in South Africa having won two consecutive Super Rugby titles with the Bulls in 2009 and 2010.

This success coincided with him making six international appearances for South Africa, bagging a try against Wales at the Millennium Stadium in June 2010.

“I look back fondly on this journey which started with early and sustained success at the domestic level and early, albeit more brief, success at international level,” Potgieter said.

“A couple of back-to-back trophies with the Bulls stand out while I managed to amass the same amount of Spingbok caps as fellow Eastern Cape hero Russell Bennett.

“Given that the pinnacle of my cognitive abilities had been used to discern lineout calls amidst Vuvuzela madness in 2010 I’m excited to contribute positively outside of this.

“I’m currently enrolled in Warwick Business School’s distance-learning MBA program which I find incredibly rewarding and I endeavour to champion the value that organisations might extract from investing in people with a background in sport – in particular the rugby fraternity.

“While I had a love-hate relationship with many aspects of that life, I can honestly say that just through team participation in three different contingents, I’ve been equipped with competencies that I probably took for granted at times.

“I will forever be indebted to the game for these and other experiences.

“To this effect I’m considering a travelling talk show where I defend the benefits of a positive mindset – much like kicking for a the corner flag.

“A final thanks to my friends and colleagues at the Bulls, Yamaha Jubilo in Japan and the Worcester Warriors in the UK for the memories.”