France international full-back Scott Spedding has announced that he will retire at the end of the season.
The 33-year-old South African-born player, originally from Krugersdorp near Johannesburg, won 23 caps in three years for Les Bleus.
He made a debut in 2014 against Fiji and featured at the 2015 World Cup, starting the embarrassing quarter-final defeat by eventual champions New Zealand. He then played his last Test match against Japan in 2017 in what was Guy Noves’ last match in charge.
“Rugby has been a part of my life since I was a little boy and it will continue to be but I will no longer play this beautiful game,” he said on Instagram.
“I arrived in France 11 years ago with nothing else but a backpack and heart full of dreams. Never would I have imagined I would have experienced what I have experienced,” he added alongside photos of him playing for clubs Castres, Brive, Bayonne and Clermont, as well as for France.
Thank you?? https://t.co/zgbX8eRVXz
Best known for his accurate long-range kicking from hand and the tee, Spedding was refused the status of a player who had come through an academy by the national league (LNR) despite his Test level appearances for France and holding a French passport.
He had taken the LNR to the Conseil D’Etat, France’s supreme court, last May arguing the decision prevented him “finding an employer” but his appeal was rejected in April.
His club highlight came when lifting the Top 14 title with Clermont for only the second time in the outfit’s history in 2017.
Spedding’s current side Castres are defending French champions and are battling for a spot at the end of season play-offs with two rounds of the regular season remaining.
WATCH: John Barclay chats with RugbyPass about the 2019 World Cup, social media, retirement and a potential move abroad after the finals in Japan
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