Johannesburg – Springboks fly-high Morne Steyn is hailed as “one of the greatest South African sportsmen of all time” by the greater South African rugby fraternity.
The 37-year-old announced his retirement from professional rugby, citing that he wanted to spend more time with his family.
His retirement comes at the time, where the Boks are in preparation for their November tour to the United Kingdom.
Steyn said he told the Springbok management that he’s hanging up his boots from the international rugby.
However, he clarified that he will still be playing for the Blue Bulls, as he is eyeing a contract extension when his contract ends in June 2022.
The South Africa national rugby union said Steyn made a significant role for the national team, where he made 742 appearances.
The union said Steyn was instrumental when the Boks won the 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan.
During an interview with Supersport, Steyn said: “I think it’s time to call it a day now, it’s a good time to make this decision.”
“I’ve had a lot of time to think about thinks and it has been difficult over the last few months being away from home with touring and being away from my kids.”
Amid his retirement, Steyn told Boks head coach Jacques Nienaber that he will not join the team when they head for a tour as he is considering retirement from the team.
“I told Jacques I won’t be available for the end of year tour. It has been difficult for me being away from my family for the past 17/18 weeks and I want to spend more time with them,” he told SuperSport.
Nienebar acknowledged Steyn’s retirement, and hailed the legend for his outstanding performance throughout the years he spent with him.
“Steyn has been a great servant to the entire team, and he led the team and mentored youngsters, he is a phenomenal player I’ve ever came across,” Nienebar said.
“Working with him in these last 20 weeks he always contributed, always helped paint the big picture, always helped prepare the team. He was never scared to give his wisdom over to the younger players.
While messages of high praises flocked in, former Springboks record-breaking legend Bryan Habana, took to social media to praise Steyn, whom he spent most of his time with.
“What a guy, what a player, what a legend,“ Habana wrote on his Twitter account.
What a guy, what player, what a legend!!@mornesteyn congratulations on an incredible international career with @Springboksba!!
Grateful to have been with you through so many memories and to have witnessed from close quarters so many more incredible ones!! pic.twitter.com/I8068PUnaB
— Bryan Habana (@BryanHabana) October 19, 2021
Steyn received a call to return to feature for the Bokke in August this year after he last made his appearance in 2016.
Coming to encounter, to make his first mark for the gold and green after four years, Steyn came as a substitute for the deciding third test against the British & Irish Lions.
He made a historical debut once more for striking two late penalties to help South Africa win the game and the series.
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