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Springboks great Morne Steyn announces retirement from international rugby

Morne Steyn

Morne Steyn has announced his retirement from international rugby, just two months after kicking the Springboks to a series win against the British and Irish Lions.

The South African veteran’s international career looked to have ended back in 2016, but Steyn made a surprise return to the Springboks’ squad ahead of this year’s test series with the Lions after five years away from the team.

Steyn had previously broken British and Irish hearts back in 2009 with a kick that sealed the series for the hosts, and he did virtually the same thing this year at the age of 37 to clinch the test series for South Africa.

The 37-year-old was speaking to South African publication SuperSport and explained his desire to focus on his club for the final years of his career.

Morne Steyn calls time on his Springboks career.

“It’s a good time to make this decision. I think it’s time to call it a day now. I’ve had a lot of time to think about things and it has been difficult over the last few months being away from home with touring and being away from my kids,” Steyn said.

“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.

“I said to Jacques that I haven’t been the number one choice for a while now, and it doesn’t make sense to wait for injuries for a chance to play.

“I have a year or two left in my career and I’d rather spend it playing for the Bulls than sitting on the sidelines. I really want to enjoy my last two years of rugby.”

URC fans will be seeing plenty of the Lions tamer.

While Steyn won’t be donning the green and gold jersey anymore, fans of the United Rugby Championship can expect to see plenty of the veteran fly-half over the next couple of years.

While he is 37, Steyn hasn’t shown many signs of slowing down, and has played a crucial role for the Bulls in their success in domestic South African competitions in recent times.

Steyn is yet to play for the Bulls in the URC, having spent the last few months with the Springboks, but he will give the Pretoria-based side a major boost on his return.

The Bulls have won just one of their four matches in the URC this season, and after stand-in fly-half Johan Goosen suffered a knee injury in their recent game against Cardiff, Steyn will likely slot back into the 10 jersey.

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