South Africa’s most-capped sweeper Branco du Preez has announced his retirement from international 7s rugby.
After a glittering career in the shortened version of 7s rugby, the 32-year-old made the decision after South Africa was knocked out in the semi-finals of the recent Cape Town 7s.
Du Preez has represented his country in 85 World Rugby 7s Series tournaments – a record for the Springbok 7s which places him in the eighth overall spot in the history of the World Series.
He represented South Africa in 431 matches, scoring 1447 points, which included 101 tries, a career-high 468 conversions and a drop goal.
Du Preez won 24 tournaments, three World Series gold medals and he was also part of South Africa’s triumphant Sevens squad at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow in 2014.
His 468 conversions is a South African record and also the fifth highest in World Series history while his 431 matches played put him in the fourth position on the all-time list.
Du Preez made his Springbok Sevens debut in Wellington in 2010 and he has been a regular member of the Blitzbok side ever since.
“My time has come to turn a new page and say goodbye to the Blitzboks team,” said Du Preez, reports ultimaterugby.com.
“I am sad to leave but excited about what is to come! I cannot thank this team enough for all of the lessons – every win and loss. Every trial and triumph we’ve faced has shaped me into the player that I am today.
Du Preez, who also represented the South Africa U20 side, the Blue Bulls and Golden Lions in the 15-a-side game, is currently negotiating with numerous prospective clubs and unions.