South African rugby’s first centurion and most-capped test player Percy Montgomery announced his retirement from international rugby after the Springboks’ 53-8 Tri-Nations win over Australia at Coca-Cola Park on Saturday.
Superrugby reports that Montgomery, who achieved the 100-match milestone on his home ground Newlands against the All Blacks two weeks ago, will still be available for the rest of the Currie Cup season and also for the Stormers next year, he said after his 102nd test “It’s been a privilege to play for my country and I am blessed that I could do that,” Montgomery said. He said that he had often been asked why he carried on after the high of winning the World Cup with the Sringboks in 2007.
“But every time I put on the Bok jersey on was a high, and that happened eight times this year,” he said.
Asked when he had decided to retire, Montgomery said that the decision had been coming for some time. “After today’s win,” he said, “I felt it was the right time.”
The most important reason that prompted his retirement was to spend more time with his family and to be with his children as they grow up, he said.
Montgomery holds virtually every Test record for the Springboks. He made his Test debut against the British Lions in 1997.
Andy Marinos, manager of national teams, thanked Montgomery on behalf of SA Rugby and the Springbok team for his contribution over the years. “He has been a credit to the country, his family and his team mates. We wish him well,” Marinos said – and added that he had little doubt that more would be seen of Montgomery in other rugby capacities.Tweet