Bath forwards Van Velze and Cloete to retire

May 23, 2024 6:25 am

[Source: BBC]

Bath’s South African forwards GJ van Velze and Chris Cloete will retire from rugby at the end of the season.

Van Velze, 36, has made more than 150 Premiership appearances for Bath, Northampton Saints and Worcester Warriors in the last decade having previously played for Blue Bulls in his homeland.

Cloete, 33, moved to Bath in 2022 and played 26 times for the club, having also spent time at Munster, Southern Kings, Western Province, and Pumas.

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He was capped by South Africa’s ‘A’ side while Van Velze played in the Springboks’ youth sides.

“I am very proud to have been part of Chris and Gerrit-Jan’s rugby journeys across the rugby world,” Bath head of rugby Johann van Graan said.

“I will remember him as one of the best leaders that I have coached and as a player who had a deep understanding of the game of rugby. I wish GJ and his family the very best for the next step in their journey. GJ is one of the very best men that I had the privilege of coaching.

“Chris had an amazing rugby journey that took him all over the world. I am grateful to have spent many years coaching Chris at Munster and Bath.

“I will remember Chris as one of the toughest and fiercest competitors that I have come across, whether it be on the training field or in the game.

“He was one of those players that everyone enjoyed having around, his laugh is infectious.”