Errie Claassens calls time on 11-year career
London Scottish back Errie Claassens has called time on his 11-year professional rugby career due to injury.
The South African joined London Scottish at the beginning of the season but has been restricted to just two competitive appearances having picked up a knee injury against Cornish Pirates in September before fracturing his foot in a comeback match against Bristol Rugby a fortnight later.
Having been in regular contact with his surgeon in recent weeks, the 33-year-old has now made the decision to retire.
The utility back began his career in South Africa playing age group rugby for Free State before going on to play for the Cheetahs in the Vodacom Cup and Griquas Rugby in the Currie Cup.
He moved to England in 2005 joining Championship outfit Rotherham Titans and quickly became renowned as a potent finisher when deployed at full-back or on the wing.
Claassens, the brother of Springbok international scrum-half Michael, then signed for London Welsh where he scored 24 tries in 50 games, a record which saw him eventually earn a move to then Premiership outfit Worcester Warriors.
After two-years at Worcester he moved to Bristol in 2013 before signing for London Scottish last summer.
Claassens said: “If you can’t give 100 per cent then it is very tough to carry on and not fair to myself or my teammates.
“After picking up the two injuries in September, that’s when the game was telling me it’s time to move on.
“I wanted to contribute more for London Scottish but these things happen – it’s just the game we play.
“However I have really enjoyed my time here even though it has been frustrating on the pitch.
“I have made some really good friends and I will continue to come down and support the Club and my teammates.
“Away from rugby, there are one or two options I am weighing up and my wife and I are looking to stay in London for a few years because we really enjoy it.
“We have got a little boy coming in June so that is something to massively look forward to.”
London Scottish Director of Rugby, Mike Friday, added: “Errie has had a fantastic rugby career which will be remembered for his trademark searing breaks and his left foot step that everyone knew was coming but could do nothing about!
“He has been a first class professional and a role model to all his colleagues both at the training ground and on the pitch.
“It’s unfortunate that Errie has had to call time on his playing career but as this chapter closes another opportunity will no doubt open up.”