The Official Online RBS 6 Nations Store is open. The store has everything you need to get behind your team during the RBS 6 Nations, plus the store is now fully stocked with a much wider range of rugby merchandise.
Fourie quickly made a name for himself in England since arriving from South Africa in 2005, impressing with Rotherham in National One and then Leeds in the Aviva Premiership.
It was his form with Leeds that led the flanker to his first England call up against New Zealand in 2010, however injuries restricted Fourie to just eight appearances for his adopted country – his last cap coming against Ireland in the 2011 RBS 6 Nations.
Injury meant Fourie had to sit out the 2011 World Cup and he admits he is left with a feeling of ‘what if’ when it comes to England now his playing days are over.
“Retiring wasn’t that big a shock. I wanted to go on but knew one bad knock might mean I would need a shoulder replacement and I would not even be able to pick my kid up,” he said.
“I have some great memories and have loved my time over here but not getting another chance to see if I could get in that England side is really disappointing.
“When they are lacking a really good No.7 I know I could have given it a shot. If I wasn’t good enough, fair enough, but to not get that opportunity because of injury is so frustrating.
“Playing my first Test against the All Blacks [in 2010], feeling those nerves I’ve never ever felt before a big match, and then playing against South Africa are things I’ll cherish for the rest of my life.
“I can’t complain, though. There are loads of players having to retire due to injury now, it’s just the nature of the game.
“It’s got more physical and we’ve seen Lewis Moody and Tom Rees – both No.7s – retire because of shoulder injuries.
“It shows the rigours of the game now and being a No.7 is really hard. Rees had to retire at 27 and he was being hailed as one of the great England captains of the future so it shows how things can go.”