Bulls captain Pierre Spies has revealed that he is considering a move to Europe or Japan and that the 2015 Super Rugby season could be his last.
Spies has been injured for much of the last two years of Rugby with thumb and bicep surgeries which has kept the Springbok and Bulls No 8 off the field.
The Bulls star admits that it has been frustrating being kept out with injuries but says that his family and friends have given him massive support.
Spies is still injured but is working his way back to fitness and says he has targeted next year's Super Rugby season as the time frame for his return.
"It's been tough to be away from the game. There have been many lows I've had to deal with," Spies told MyPlayers.
"But when you surround yourself with the right people, you find yourself motivated by a great support base, one that offers a lot of positivity and keeps me going.
"I'm about halfway through with my recovery plan. I should be ready to play by the start of the 2015 Super Rugby campaign. It's not easy being out of the system, but I do try to stay involved wherever I can. I spend time with the players and try to add value at training and after games.
Spies is hoping for a big year in 2015 as he believes the Bulls can win the Super Rugby title and that the Springboks can win the Rugby World Cup so he wants to win his Bulls and Bok jerseys back.
"My goals for the 2015 season is to help the Bulls win the Super Rugby title and to play my way back into the Springbok squad ahead of the World Cup. I believe South Africa has experience and talent to win."
Spies accepts that getting back into the Springbok team won't be easy given the competition among the loose forwards but he believes this will motivate him to make a stronger comeback.
"The loose forward department is one area where South Africa never lacks quality," said Spies.
"This will make things tougher, but it will also motivate me to work harder. If I can give my best on the field, I believe I will get there (make the Springbok squad)."
While Spies is focused on making his comeback next year the 29-year-old has started thinking about his long-term future and playing abroad.
"After the 2015 season, I'll be looking to do a stint in Europe or Japan," said Spies.
"I think I'd prefer Japan after speaking to some of my mates who have played there, like Fourie du Preez, Wynand Olivier and Jaque Fourie. They all love the Japanese culture and the strong work ethic the locals have over there. I'm also told that rugby is gaining plenty of popularity and respect in the Far East. I think that would be a great environment to be a part of looking ahead.
"If I play in Japan, there'll be the chance that I could play further roles for the Bulls during Super Rugby and the Springboks during the Test window."
Spies says that even though he has been off the playing field for a while he has enjoyed his time.
"I have two young sons, so you can say I've been a full-time dad away from the field. And I'm loving it," said Spies.
"Injuries are never nice, but I've been able to spend more time with my wife and kids, which has been a blessing. I've been able to appreciate the time I can spend with my family.
"I've also been busy in the corporate world. I've recently done a career practitioner course and I do some life coaching. I really enjoy public speaking, especially at corporate meetings."