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South African rugby
Springboks prop Deon Carsens retires
ESPN Staff
April 16, 2013
Springboks prop Deon Carstens receives some treatment, South Africa v British & Irish Lions, 1st Test, Kings Park, Durban, South Africa, June 20, 2009
Deon Carstens earned nine Test caps © Getty Images
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Springboks prop Deon Carstens has retired due to an ongoing back injury.

Carstens, 33, has not played for the Stormers in Super Rugby or for Western Province in the Currie Cup this year after undergoing a neck operation during the off-season, but his subsequent back injury proved his undoing.

"As a senior pro he added so much value - both on and off the field - and it's no surprise that players like [Steven] Kitshoff, [Scarra] Ntubeni and [Frans] Malherbe have come on in leaps and bounds since Deon joined the Western Province and Stormers set-up," Stormers coach Allister Coetzee said of Carstens.

Carstens hails from Western Province but made his senior provincial debut for the Sharks in 2001, before moving to Aviva Premiership club Saracens in 2010. He returned to South Africa in 2011 and played for the Stormers and Western Province last season.

"After 170 games for the Sharks and 30-odd games for Saracens it was such an honour to end my career here at Western Province," Carstens said. "I'd like to thank everyone for their support over my career. I was very fortunate to play over 200 first-class matches - including nine Tests for my country - and I count my blessings every day."

Carstens played his last game of rugby in the 2012 Currie Cup final between Western Province against Natal Sharks. "It's quite a twist - to have ended my playing career for Western Province … at Kings Park … and as a Currie Cup winner," he said. "It's so weird - thinking that my rugby career is over - but I had a great innings and, like I said, what a twist that it ended in Durban on such a high."

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