Cardiff Blues prop Kenneth Fourie is preparing to leave the regional squad after four years at the Arms Park.
The 27-year-old Fourie first came to Wales with the Natal under-21 team in 1996 and also represented South African Schools. He also played Currie Cup rugby for South-West Districts and Natal in South Africa before coming to the UK and playing for West Hartlepool and Leicester Tigers.
He joined the Cardiff club team in December 2000, making his debut as a replacement against Edinburgh Reivers. His full debut in the starting line-up followed a week later on 16 December 2000 in the 27-16 home win over Ebbw Vale. Ken won his club cap in 2002-03 when he made 23 first team appearances. Last season he played 22 times for the Blues, giving him a career total at the Arms Park of 81 games and three tries.
Ken said today, Its obviously sad to be leaving because there have been many good days for the club and region and I have made many new friends. But my wife Michelle and myself have decided to take a break and consider several options for the future both inside and outside rugby. I am leaving by mutual agreement with the company.
I am particularly grateful to the help I have always received from the backroom staff with the squad. They are the unsung heroes at the club who work unstintingly on behalf of the players. I also owe a big thanks to David Young who has always been straight with me, has encouraged me and given me targets. He is a coach who is doing a fine job.
Thanks also go to the Supporters Club and other fans who I have got to know over the years.
Michelle and I will be staying in the area for a while so that I can complete my HND qualifications in architectural design and technology.
* A full in-depth interview with Ken about his Cardiff years will be featured in the Cardiff Blues v Stade Francais Paris match programme on 29 October.