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Springboks captain retires from international rugby

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Springboks captain Jean de Villiers has announced his retirement from international rugby after breaking his jaw, ruling him out of the remainder of the 2015 Rugby World Cup.

De Villiers, who has made 109 appearances for the Springboks including 37 as captain, was injured in his sides 46-6 win over Samoa, and retires from the game as the nation’s fourth highest capped player.

“Rugby will be poorer without Jean,” said coach Heyneke Meyer. “He is a true ambassador for South Africa.”

The 34 year old was immediately aware that he had played his final Test when he left the field on Saturday, ending an injury ravaged career for both the Stormers and the Springboks.

He added: “Injuries are part of rugby and I’ve had my fair share, so by now I know how to cope with them. It’s very sad, but life goes on.

“I would like to wish the team all the very best,” he added. “I’m now their number one supporter.

“The last time I got injured in a World Cup match and had to go home was in 2007, also against Samoa, and that finished well for the Boks, so hopefully it will happen again.”

South Africa went on to win the World Cup in 2007 after beating this year’s host nation England 15-6 in the final.

Springboks coach Meyer added: “Jean is a true ambassador for South Africa and a person everyone in our country can be immensely proud of.

“Jean enriched my life and I hold him in very high regard, as person and rugby player.”

Captain Jean de Villiers Springboks

About Dale Ventham

Dale Ventham is an editor at The Sports Lowdown. He writes on the lower leagues of English football and Speedway in particular.

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