Springbok loosehead prop Gurthrö Steenkamp has announced his retirement from international rugby and will focus on his career with Toulouse.
The 33-year-old loosehead prop earned 53 Test caps scoring six tries, and has been with Toulouse since 2011.
'After a very long period of reflection and consideration, it is with a heavy heart that I announce my retirement from international rugby,' he said in a statement.
'I have been blessed with a great career in the Springbok jersey. It was a huge privilege and an honour to represent my country.
'I have come to realise that I have had an amazing career and that it’s now time for me to step down and allow the young guns to make their mark. I have reached a stage in my career where I have to focus on my future.
'I would like to thank the following people who have supported me through my international career. My wife Jana and kids who have always supported me even though at times it was hard to be away from home. She has been my rock.
'My parents and my brother who have always been there from the start. I could not have asked for a better support system. The rest of my family and friends.
'Jake White for giving me the opportunity to make my debut for the Springboks in 2004 and to Heyneke Meyer for making it possible to play 50 Test matches for the Springboks.
'The Blue Bull family in South Africa. So many fond memories will forever stay with me.
'The South African public who has always supported me and the Boks. What a passionate nation!
'I am also grateful to Stade Toulousain for making it possible to continue playing for the Springboks since making my move to Toulouse! I'm forever grateful for Guy Noves' support for my international career! Also to the Toulouse public who have been giving me their full support. It's now time for me to focus on my career at Stade Toulousain.
'Not forgetting a special thank you to the community of Paarl. Without you I would have not achieved what I have today and a special mention to my alma mater Paarl Boys’ High where my rugby was groomed and where this amazing journey began.'
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