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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. 

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Remembering the late Sean Wainui
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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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