Cape Town - A call from Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer led to centre Jaque Fourie reconsidering his international future.
The 32-year-old, who plays his club rugby for the Kobelco Steelers in Japan, retired from international rugby last year.
But a call from Meyer earlier this year led to a change of heart and Fourie is now eyeing the Rugby World Cup in England and Wales later this year.
At present, he is not fit enough for the rigours of international rugby and has been put on a rigid training programme to regain top fitness levels.
“Me and my family were set to fly back to Japan this week,” Fourie told Netwerk24 last week. “We’ve had a wonderful holiday of about four months here - and I was ready to start training for the new Japanese season. Then Heyneke phoned me and asked if we could chat.
“He told me he had the luxury of a big group of experienced players from which he could pick and that he would like to consider me. He gave me the assurance that they would discuss it with my club, the Kobelco Steelers, because I actually promised my club that I had retired from international rugby.
“Nevertheless, the drawcard of a fourth World Cup is a strong one. Never in my wildest dreams would I have thought it would be possible.”
Fourie played 72 Tests for
the Springboks after making his debut against Uruguay at the 2003 Rugby
World Cup in Australia.
His last Test was against France in Paris in November 2013.