Cape Town - Study and club commitments are believed to have played a role in Francois Hougaard calling time on his international career.
The now former Springbok scrumhalf shocked the rugby fraternity last week by ending his international career with immediate effect.
The 30-year-old, who plays for English club Worcester Warriors, played 46 Tests for the Boks between 2009 and 2017.
Netwerk24 reported on Sunday that Hougaard is eager to study an MBA degree in business management which will take up a lot of his time.
Another insider told the Afrikaans website that even though Hougaard made the decision himself, clubs are increasingly exerting more pressure on overseas players to play less for their countries.
Hougaard recently signed a new contract that will keep him at the Worcester Warriors until 2021.
His decision to quit international rugby was welcomed by Worcester’s director of rugby Alan Solomons, who said it was a “major boost” for the club.
“It means he won’t be going away for international duty,” Solomons told the Worcester News website.
“Francois had mentioned it (retiring from international rugby) and that’s his decision at the end of the day. He was contemplating focusing the rest of his career at Worcester.
“He is very happy here and I know that he is doing a business course as well for life after rugby which you have got to be prepared for.”