Jaque Fourie won’t be making a rugby comeback with the Western Force, officially calling time on a glittering career.
Fourie has been running the side’s defence this season and had initially planned to combine that with a playing return when he linked up with the club.
However, a series of niggles have prevented from reaching full fitness and the 33-year-old opted to put an end to his playing days.
Force coach Tim Sampson it was disappointing that the former Springbok wouldn’t take the field but he was still having an influence on the team.
“Jaque initially had the intent to play but not long after arriving he had a couple of niggles and just made a decision to call time in his career,” he said.
“It would've been great to get some game time out of him but he certainly fills in a lot at training and likes to think he's still got it but he's slowly beginning to be shown up by the lads.”
Off the field, Fourie is still having an impact for the Force in his coaching role, Sampson said.
“He loves it, he's a guy that gives us a lot of energy and if you look at his playing days he was a key link man for the Springboks in that position as a defence captain in the back line and the guys really respond to Jaque,” he said.
“I think it's been a strength this year, our defence, and hopefully Jaque can continue to put his print on our defensive systems and structures.”
The Force has won three of its five matches in World Series Rugby, suffering defeats to the Rebels and the Crusaders.
They have two more rounds to go, against the Hong Kong Dragons and Japan’s Panasonic Wild Knights and Sampson said he felt there were plenty of positives to take out of the competition.
“With how quickly it was put together this year, we've gained a lot out of it and the reality is it's given 33 players an opportunity to play a high level of rugby and be full-time athletes so that's a huge win for rugby union and certainly rugby union in West Australia but also for Australian rugby,” he said.
The Force take on the Hong Kong Dragons on Friday night at 6:30pm local, 8:30pm AEST.