South Africa captain Jean de Villiers has retired from international rugby after being ruled out of the rest of the World Cup with a fractured jaw.
De Villiers who plays centre, who was injured during Saturday’s 46-6 win over Samoa, played 109 times for his country.
That makes the 34-year-old Stormers club player the fourth most-capped player in the history of South African Test rugby.
“Rugby will be poorer without Jean,” said coach Heyneke Meyer. “He is a true ambassador for South Africa.”
De Villiers said he knew as soon as he left the field he had played his last Test.
He added: “Injuries are part of rugby and I’ve had my fair share, so by now I know how to cope with them. It’s very sad, but life goes on.”
De Villiers said he would be “eternally grateful” for the time he had as a South Africa player.
“I would like to wish the team all the very best,” he added. “I’m now their number one supporter.
“The last time I got injured in a World Cup match and had to go home was in 2007, also against Samoa, and that finished well for the Boks, so hopefully it will happen again.”
South Africa won the 2007 World Cup by beating England 15-6.