Johan Goosen regrets retiring in 2016: 'I made bad decisions'

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Johan Goosen (Gallo Images)
Johan Goosen (Gallo Images)
  • Springbok utility back Johan Goosen says he regrets retiring from rugby in 2016.
  • The fullback/flyhalf says he made "bad decisions" but is working hard at current club Montpellier.
  • He says it remains a dream to play for the Springboks again.

Springbok utility back Johan Goosen has admitted that his premature retirement from rugby was a "bad decision".

In 2016, while playing for French club Racing 92, Goosen made the shock announcement that he would retire from rugby to focus on his farming interests in South Africa.

He came out of retirement in 2018 when played three games for the Cheetahs, before signing a deal with French outfit Montpellier.

The move to Montpellier caused an uproar in France because he was still contracted to Racing 92 despite the break in play.

"I stopped for sixteen months, and I don't think that the break was a good decision in my career," he told French publication L'Equipe.

"I'm working really hard to get back to where I was. Now that's in the past. I made decisions, bad decisions. It happens to everyone. I can't change it. I have to move forward, work really hard and focus on rugby to get back on top with my club. And I will get there."

Montpellier had to pay Racing €1.5 million to buy Goosen out of his contract, before officially signing the player on a two-year deal.

That deal ends on 30 June 2021 and according to Goosen it's unlikely that the club will offer him an extension.

When asked about the playing options currently available to him, Goosen refused to rule out a return to his home country.

"I'll be honest, Montpellier has not been in contact with me (regarding a contract extension). I have to think about my future, my children and my wife, but nothing is certain yet for a return to South Africa or elsewhere.

"Right now I'm enjoying my life here and, if I can stay, I will stay. I read about my possible transfer to the Bulls or the Cheetahs in the media, but absolutely nothing is finalised. I have no further answers for you, just that I'm happy here and still have seven to eight months of contract."

Goosen did admit though that he still harboured hopes of playing for the Springboks.

"All South Africans want to play for the Springboks. It's still a dream, a goal for me."

The 28-year-old played 13 Tests between 2012 and 2016.

- Compiled by Sport24 staff

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