Fourie rules out Springboks return
April 19, 2012
Jaque Fourie will remain in Japan rather than turning out for South Africa © Getty Images
Springboks centre Jaque Fourie has ruled out a return to Test rugby for the time being.
The 69-cap outside centre is currently turning out for the Kobe Steel Kobelco Steelers in Japan and has made the decision to remain fully committed to his club side instead of turning out for the Boks against England this summer.
"In light of recent speculation linking me with a return to international rugby with the Springboks I would like to clarify my position," Fourie said. "I have immense pride and amazing memories of my time as a Springbok representing South Africa.
"After the World Cup I decided to a pursue a new chapter in my rugby life and I want to give the same commitment I gave the Boks to my new team Kobe Steel Kobelco Steelers, therefore I will not be making myself available for Springbok selection whilst contracted to Kobe.
"South Africa has some incredibly talented centres at their disposal and it is their time now."
South Africa coach Heyneke Meyer has backed the centre's decision and has also claimed he is hopeful that Fourie will be back in the international reckoning before the next World Cup. Meyer, who has just unveiled his second planning squad, has also announced that he will name his new captain prior to the first Test with England.
"There've been a lot of injuries - guys like Schalk Burger, Juan Smith and Jean de Villiers are all out of action - while there's been speculation about Victor Matfield playing again," Meyer said. "I'll announce the captain the week before the first England Test and he'll be captain only for those three Tests."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
Despite having lost all four of their 2014 Six Nations games, the future of Italian rugby is bright with the team showing a new youthful core, argues Enrico Borra
"The loudest cheer at a rugby game, away from social media gimmicks, pumping music and pyrotechnics will always be for a try." Tom Hamilton on the Twickenham atmosphere
"The only thing that will stop this England team from becoming a great team is themselves. They need to ask themselves 'what can we be?'" The Phil Vickery column
The latest Monday Maul looks at the hectic final weekend, the Lions hangover, the superb Mike Brown and the 'selfie'