High praise for departing Gurthrö
Sat, 14 Mar 2015 09:04
Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer paid tribute to Gurthrö Steenkamp after the veteran prop announced his retirement from international rugby.
Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer paid tribute to Gurthrö Steenkamp after the veteran prop announced his retirement from international rugby with immediate effect on Friday, putting an end to a 53-cap Test career for South Africa.
The South African Rugby Player of the Year in 2010, Steenkamp made his Test debut against Scotland in Edinburgh on 27 November 2004.
He holds the record for the most Test tries as a prop (six) and has been on the winning side in 77 percent of his Tests (41 victories), the best for any Springbok who has been capped more than 50 times.
Steenkamp, whose last Test appearance was in the victory over Italy in Padova last November, was a member of the Springboks’ Rugby World Cup winning squad in 2007 as well as the team that won the series over the British & Irish Lions in 2009.
He also formed part of the highly-successful Bulls squad that won Super Rugby in 2007, 2009 and 2010.
“It's always a big blow to lose an experienced player such as Gurthro to retirement, but we respect his decision and I really appreciate it that he told me personally,” said Meyer.
“As one of only six props and 29 players overall to play in 50 Tests for South Africa, it's clear that he's played a huge role in the last decade of Springbok rugby.
"Props being named SA Rugby Player of the Year is something that doesn’t happen all that often.
“Gurthrö has won numerous titles at all levels of the game and he made a massive contribution to rugby in South Africa.
"He always put his body on the line for all teams he played for and it's been a privilege for me to have coached him.”