Peter de Villiers has indicated that he will stand down as head coach of South Africa following his team's exit from the World Cup.
The 54-year-old, who became the first non-white coach of the Springboks in 2008, said he would stand down after South Africa lost to Australia in the World Cup quarter-finals.
"It was a brilliant journey, something that none of you guys can take away from me," said an emotional De Villiers.
"To work with people like this [John Smit], people who are passionate about their country, people who are always putting their body on the line and try to bring back hope for the poor people at home who don’t have the privilege that most of you guys have.
"It was really incredible to work with them. But you know, there’s a time to come and a time to go, and the journey I think for me is over.
"So I enjoyed it, I’m privileged to be in the position where I could make a contribution to my country, I hope it was a positive one and South African rugby will go forward, and it will be much better next year when they come back."
De Villiers, who won 30 of his 48 Tests in charge, took over from Jake White after South Africa's triumphant World Cup campaign in 2007 and has had a colourful spell in charge of the national team.
He led South Africa to the Tri-Nations title in 2009, as well as a series victory over the British and Irish Lions in the same year.
But he was often criticised for his reliance on the 2007 World Cup winning side, especially perservering with captain John Smit at hooker instead of Bismarck du Plessis, while he was also famed for his memorable public comments.
Smit paid tribute to his coach afterwards, saying: "As much as the pain flows through the heart right now, the other thing that was said in the changing room by many a guy was that we have had a great four years together and that has been pioneered by Peter.
"He's not the usual mould of coach that any of us have been used to, but he is one that we have thoroughly enjoyed over the four years.
"His saying from the day he started and, I suppose when he wakes up tomorrow, is that even the bad days are good. He has made us enjoy every moment. He has been a great man."
Watch the full press conference here.
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