Former Springbok utility back Jaco Taute has announced his retirement from rugby with immediate effect.
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Taute was a member of the South Africa Under-20 side that competed in the 2010 and 2011 Junior World Championships before making his full international debut for the Springboks a year later.
Taute earned three caps for South Africa, making his debut against Australia in Pretoria. He also played against the All Blacks in Johannesburg and Ireland in Dublin.
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The 31-year-old, who played for the Lions, Stormers and Western Province in Super Rugby and the Currie Cup, joined English Premiership side Leicester Tigers from Irish giants Munster ahead of the 2019/20 season.
Taute injured his knee in February last year and was sidelined for more than a year.
He returned in March 2022, but only played 10 minutes before picking up another injury.
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On Friday, Leicester confirmed that Taute – along with fellow Springbok Marco van Staden (as reported by The South African website) will be leaving the club.
The 31-year-old announced his retirement via social media, thanking coaches, team-mates, and medical experts who had played a role in his 14-year career.
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Writing about his decision to retire, Taute said: “I will forever be grateful for the memories, friendships and experiences I’ve shared with my teammates who have in turn become lifelong friends.”
“To everybody who played a part in my journey whatever the size from my alma mater, various inspirational coaches, trainers, surgeons and medical staff, thank you from the bottom of my heart.
“I’m grateful to have had the opportunity to live in Limerick and Leicester and play the sport I love. I’ve learnt valuable life lessons and I can’t thank the various organisations enough.
“My career has been filled with the highest highs and the lowest lows, without the support of my friends, family and die-hard supporters I would not have been able to keep on pursuing my dream of playing professional rugby.
“It was an honour and privilege to represent the various clubs and to play a small part in their journey. I will cherish the shared memories for a very long time.”