South Africa captain Jean de Villiers on Sunday ended his distinguished international career after a fractured jaw ruled him out of the rest of the World Cup.
“It’s never nice getting injured and knowing that I’ve played my last game for South Africa. It’s quite sad,” the 34-year-old centre told a press conference.
De Villiers, who has 109 Springbok caps, suffered the latest of a series of injury blows that have blighted his international career, especially his World Cup experiences, in South Africa’s 46-6 win over Samoa on Saturday.
“As I got replaced and I was running off, I knew it was my last,” he added.
“I won’t get this opportunity again. Having played for the Springboks for 13 years now, you’ve been through so much, you’ve made so many good friends, you’ve seen so many good things, you never think that it would end like this.”
De Villiers said he broke the news to teammates on Saturday night.
“It’s happened now and I’m very grateful for the time that I’ve had in the Springbok jersey and I wish the team the very best.
“I told them last night, as a former Springbok now, I wish them the very best and I’m supporter number one now.”