World Cup winner Fourie du Preez announced his retirement from rugby union as he celebrated his 34th birthday on Thursday.
The halfback was a key member of South Africa’s World Cup-winning side in 2007 and captained the Springboks in four matches during last year’s tournament in England.
He played in 76 tests between 2004 and 2015 and also played for the Bulls in Super Rugby and in Japan.
“Rugby has been such an integral part of my life in the last two decades, so a lot of deliberation and thought have gone into my decision to retire,” Du Preez said in a statement.
“I was fortunate and blessed to play the game I loved for 15 years and for that I’m very grateful. The friends, memories and life experiences I made will last a lifetime.”
South African Rugby Union president Oregan Hoskins said Du Preez would “go down in the annals of South African rugby as one of the most decorated players ever”.