Springboks fly-half Morne Steyn retires from Test rugby

Johannesburg (AFP) –


South Africa fly-half Morne Steyn announced his retirement from Test rugby on Tuesday, but will continue playing for the Bulls franchise.

The 37-year-old is best known for twice kicking series-winning penalties against the British and Irish Lions.

Steyn landed an effort from his own half in 2009 to give the Springboks victory in Pretoria and an unassailable 2-0 lead in a three-match series.

He repeated the feat this year, converting a penalty from a shorter distance in the final Test in Cape Town, as South Africa again emerged 2-1 series victors over the tourists.

Steyn told South African media he wanted to "spend more time with his family" after being away from home for 18 weeks this year on national team duty.

"I told (Springboks coach) Jacques (Nienaber) that I have not been the number one choice for a while now and it does not make sense to wait for injuries for a chance to play."

Handre Pollard is the first-choice Springboks playmaker with Elton Jantjies his understudy.

"I have a year or two left in my career and I would rather spend it playing for the Bulls than sitting on the sidelines. I really want to enjoy my last few years of rugby," said Steyn.

Cape Town-born Steyn made his Test debut in 2009, was capped 68 times by the Springboks and scored 742 points.

He has divided his club career between two spells at the Bulls and seven years with French Top 14 outfit Stade Francais.