Lions slayer walks off into international sunset
NEWS: Morne Steyn, who twice landed series-winning penalties against the British and Irish Lions, has announced his retirement from international rugby.
Steyn, 37, confirmed his unavailability for the Springboks’ year-end tour in an interview with the Supersport website.
The 68-times capped Bok legend will, however, be available to play for the Bulls in the United Rugby Championship.
Steyn, who kicked the series-clinching penalties in the second Test of the 2009 tour at Loftus Versfeld and also the third Test of the 2021 visit by the B&I Lions in Cape Town, informed the national team’s management of his decision.
“I think it’s time to call it a day now,” Steyn said.
“I’ve 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 [Springbok coach] Jacques [Nienaber] I won’t be available for the year-end tour.
“It has been difficult for me being away from my family for the past 17/18 weeks and I want to spend more time with them.”
Steyn, who has been mostly a back-up to Handre Pollard and Elton Jantjies this year, played just two Tests – coming off the bench to land the winning penalty against the B&I Lions in Cape Town on August 7 and also featuring as a reserve in the 32-12 win over Argentina in Port Elizabeth a week later.
“I said to Jacques that I haven’t been the No.1 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.”
Steyn made his Test debut against the B&I Lions in Durban in 2009 and his 68th international was against Los Pumas during this year’s Rugby Championship campaign.
He won three Super 14 titles with the Bulls – 2007, 2009 and 2010 – having played more than 200 first-class games for the Pretoria franchise, before heading to France in 2013, where he played 130-odd games for Stade Français.