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Corne Krige Retires From International Rugby

Corne Krige Retires From International Rugby

Corne Krige, who skippered South Africa
in their disastrous World Cup campaign in November, has announced his retirement from international rugby.

Corne Krige, who skippered South Africa
in their disastrous World Cup campaign in November, has announced his retirement from international rugby.

The 28-year-old flanker cited personal reasons for his unexpected
His resignation follows that of coach Rudolf Straeuli and two top
administrators, who all stepped down after South Africa’s poor
showing at the
World Cup and disquiet at a controversial boot camp training regime.

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Krige announcing his retirement said in a statement: “I have made the decision to
retire from
international rugby. I have given this a lot of thought and have discussed things
through with
my wife and family and believe this is the right decision for

Krige, who played 39 tests for South Africa, added: “I just
feel that I am
at a stage in my life where I would like to concentrate on the
Stormers and
Western Province (provincial teams) and would like to spend more time
at home
with my family.”

He debuted simultaneously as captain and player for the Springboks
in June
1999 against Italy and led the team to a record 101-0 victory, but
only took
over as regular skipper in 2002.

For the past two years, South African rugby has endured a hard
suffering under record losses and internal squabbles before and after
World Cup in Australia.

The preparation to the World Cup was marred by a racism incident
when a
white player refused to share a room with his coloured (mixed race)
throwing the team into disrepute.

Krige emerged from the saga with his reputation intact, having
tried to
restore harmony while making it clear he would not tolerate racism.

The team then suffered humiliating losses during the tournament
and failed
to beat any top rugby nations. The Springboks were ousted in the
quarter-finals against New Zealand after losing 29-9.
To make matters worse, upon their return from the World Cup,
footage of a military-style training “bootcamp” was leaked
to the media and
broadcast worldwide.

It showed players forced naked into a freezing lake to pump up
rugby balls,
causing a public outcry for a clear out of top officials.
As a result, the heads of top officials rolled — including those
of coach
Straeuli, SA Rugby managing director Rian Oberholzer and South
African Rugby
Football Union president Silas Nkanunu.

Krige never openly criticised rugby management following the
scandal, but did say that in retrospect he would have done a few

“I have thoroughly enjoyed playing for the Springboks and it
has been a
dream come true to play in the green and gold and to have captained
the team
was an incredible experience,” Krige said.
“I appeal to all involved at SA Rugby to realise the
potential and value of
the players we have in this country. I truly believe we have a squad
that can
be world-beaters if utilised correctly.”