South Africa’s Rugby star retires suddenly.

26th Nov 2014 It was an unexpected surprise for South Africa’s rugby and a shock to fans when Bakkies Botha , the seventh most-capped Springbok of all time, a three-time South Africa rugby player of the year nominee and holder of the world record for the most Tests as a lock combination in the starting line-up, announced his retirement from the sport.

Bakkies made his announcement after South Africa’s 22-6 win over Italy in Padova, which he watched from the stands. The rugby sensation made his debut for South Africa in a 2002 match against France, where they won 85 caps, which paved the way for the team’s victory in 2007 Rugby world cup.

His words on his retirement, “I considered all my options and realized that with the talent coming through at lock in South Africa, the time has come for me to call time on my Springbok career. In my opinion, it’s time for me to step down and to hand over the mantle to the next Springbok generation.

“The game, the jersey, the supporters and my country are more important than anything else. I would love to play in more Tests, but in life there is a time for everything and my time to wear the Green and Gold has come to an end.

“I prayed about this, held discussions with my wife and other parties whose judgments and opinions I trust and I have peace with my decision. I have no doubt that the men, who will take over from me, will do the job just as well as, if not better, than what I did.

“I wanted this Test to be about the Springboks and not about me. It is my decision because in my eyes, the team always comes first and I didn’t want to be branded as arrogant and self-centered.

“To be able to make this decision on my own terms, knowing I’m still good enough to play Test rugby, is a huge blessing.

Good luck, and congratulations, Bakkies Botha.

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