Springbok Sevens player Steven Hunt announces his retirement from professional rugby as he plans to begin life as a commercial property broker in August.
Hunt has enjoyed an impressive professional rugby career.
Since making his international debut for the Blitzboks in New Zealand in 2010, he has represented South Africa in 24 tournaments. He has also played for Western Province in the Currie Cup and at U21 level, having come through the Eastern Province junior provincial ranks.
At the age of 26, Hunt has decided to retire from the professional game after receiving a great opportunity in the commercial property industry. He is set to be released from the national sevens set-up in Stellenbosch at the end of June.
He admits it was a tough decision to make, but added that he’s excited to start a new chapter in his life.
“There will be a time in your career when you realise that the hunger for the game is no longer there and you acknowledge that there are other exciting career opportunities outside of rugby. This will happen at different stages for different players… some will even experience this earlier than expected,” Hunt told MyPlayers.co.za.
“Looking back, I have many great rugby memories, especially with the Springbok Sevens team. The tour to the UK in 2011 was magical as we beat Fiji in the Cup final in England and enjoyed a miraculous comeback against Australia to win the Cup final in Scotland as we scored a last-minute try (video below). At that stage, I was playing the best rugby of my career.
“This season, I found myself struggling to make the 12-man squad on a regular basis. However, while I had a lack of playing opportunities, this afforded me the time to focus on my studies and prepare for life after rugby.
“During that time, I was offered this amazing opportunity to become a commercial property broker. I knew then that it was time to start a new chapter.”
The move will see him relocate to Johannesburg, another exciting change that will force him out of his comfort zone.
“When I was still living in PE, I was very nervous before I moved to Cape Town. PE is a small city, so I wasn’t sure what to expect in the city and Stellenbosch,” said Hunt. “But once I made the move, I managed to adapt quite nicely. I’m already starting my preparations for my move to Johannesburg, to ensure I enjoy an easy transition to a new environment.”
Hunt emphasised the importance of studies to all players, especially when they’re younger.
“I started my studies back at NMMU in Port Elizabeth after school. When I moved over to Stellenbosch University, where I furthered my rugby career, I continued with my Bcom degree,” said Hunt.
“My full-timer switch to sevens in 2011 allowed me to study through UNISA. It hasn’t been easy, but I managed to find the balance between my studies and rugby career. Because of this, I get the opportunity to graduate with a BCom degree in Marketing at the end of the year. I also studied a GetSmarter short course in Commercial Property Law through UCT, which adds to my academic qualifications.
“As a rugby player, your studies might take a bit longer, but it’s well worth it. I can now start my new career immediately after retiring from rugby. This is a route I’d encourage all rugby players to take.”