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'It's time': Springboks legend Morne Steyn confirms Test retirement

By Liam Heagney
(Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)

Serial Lions killer Morne Steyn has officially announced his retirement from Test rugby having informed Springboks management in recent weeks that he wasn’t available for next month’s three-game tour to the UK. The 37-year-old landed the winning penalty in this year’s Test series versus the Lions, repeating what he did in the previous series in 2009.


The out-half went on to play in a mid-August Rugby Championship match versus Argentina in Port Elizabeth. However, while he travelled to Australia for the four-match leg of that tournament, the veteran didn’t play a single minute and has now decided to call time on his 68-cap career in order to spend more time with his family. 

Steyn is just back in South Africa having answered an emergency call to help the Bulls at the end of their United Rugby Championship tour of the UK and Ireland and he told the Springboks boss, Jacques Nienaber, he wasn’t available for selection in the 32-strong squad announced on Tuesday for the November games versus Wales, Scotland and England. 

Video Spacer

Remembering the late Sean Wainui

Video Spacer

Remembering the late Sean Wainui

With his current Bulls contract set to expire in June 2022, Steyn is currently in negotiations about a possible extension, but his second coming at Test level is over after two August appearances bridged a five-year gap back to his previous games in 2016. 

“It’s a good time to make this decision,” said Steyn to after he was one of the players who spent 18 weeks in a bio-bubble with the Springboks. “It’s time to call it a day now. I have 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.

“I told Jacques I won’t be available for the end of year tour. It has been difficult for me to be 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 No1 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.”



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Jon 16 minutes ago
Buoyant England travel to New Zealand full of hope but are they walking into an All Blacks ambush?

> New head coach Scott Robertson has kept only forwards coach Jason Ryan and conditioning coach Nic Gill from the previous regime *and so there is little institutional knowledge inherent in the new team.* Shows you what the English know about sport. Isn’t just fantastic that the best rugby team, or brand, on the planet has three brothers playing together? One a bull, the other a dancer, and last a .. boxer? Looks like a boxer bless him. > But Robertson has been working to fix that issue, with senior players and coaches having been regularly meeting to work out how they will operate together both on and off the field to ensure there is strong decision-making and a deep understanding of how the team wants to play. Have they? I would suggest then it is not a case of fixing things, that is not what Razor does. Razor will evolve the relationship between player and coach into a more symbiotic relationship. This wont be a coach that shouts down at his players theyre not doing good enough. I can imagine one of the first key areas he will be implementing is the respective leadership for each coaching group. Tight five, Loosies, Halves, Centers, and Back Three, will each have their own leadership team and an agile approach to the playing group relaying what they believe is happening on the training paddock, and in games. It will be a very big step to get everyone involved, able, and thinking about contributing to that process, but I believe a very beneficial one if successful. > England may have their best chance to win in 21 years, but they may also be walking into an ambush – *about to be hit* by a young, gifted, supremely physical and athletic All Blacks team coached by a man who has made every post a winner so far in his career and has this uncanny knack of getting the best out of people. Or, by a group hurting from not getting over the line and proving to everyone they are the best in the world, full of experience and cohesion, grit and motivation. You only need to look at someone like Patrick Tuipulotu to see someone with a fire under his belly from missing out on the last RWC due to injury, and having lost to this opposition in the previous one. It will be very interesting to see how this ‘Razor’ plays it. Does he stick with the traditional and protect the time honored All Black values of commitment, or does he evolve and pick the best players to win the Rugby Championship - and by association this test series - like Akira Ioane?

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