Cape Town - Springbok centre Jaque Fourie has been sent back to his club in Japan to regain full fitness.
After retiring from international rugby last year, the 32-year-old was picked in Heyneke Meyer’s first Springbok squad of the year after the national coach convinced him to reconsider his decision to call time on his Springbok career.
Fourie though is not fit for the rigours of international rugby and the decision was made for him to withdraw from the Bok squad and return to his club, the Kobelco Steelers.
Meyer had a meeting with Fourie on Tuesday, where a mutual decision was taken that he would return to Japan to regain his fitness and get game time.
“He decided to withdraw from the Springbok squad for now, but we agreed that the door is still open for him to be selected for the Rugby World Cup if he is needed,” Meyer said on Wednesday.
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.