All Black star announces shock retirement

All Blacks outside back Israel Dagg is hanging up his boots, after a knee injury crippled his comeback attempts.

Dagg’s long-term knee injury hadn’t allowed him to train and play at an elite level, so after taking medical advice he has decided to retire.

It brings the curtain down on a stellar rugby career which began in 2006 when Dagg made his debut as an 18-year-old Hawke’s Bay.

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As a little kid growing up in Hawkes bay I never in my wildest dreams thought I would have travelled the road I have with Rugby. On a scholarship to lindisfarne college and thanks to my mum working two jobs I was able to show off some skills playing school rugby where I was spotted, then selected to play for @hbmagpies at 17. From there I had an incredible year playing @allblacks7s before being selected to start my super rugby career playing two years for @highlandersteam then the last 8 years with my brothers in the @crusadersrugbyteam. Amongst that… every little boys dream – running onto that field 66 times wearing the black jersey, representing my country with pride and honour for the @allblacks. Unfortunately my dream career has come to an end due to a increasingly painful and unfixable right knee, my rugby days are over. There is not enough space in this post to thank everyone I have met and who has influenced and helped me along this road but here are a few…. all my incredible coaches, trainers, managers, sponsors, especially @adidasnz providing me with all the gears and tools needed to play my game, my amazing agent @si_porter10 and CSM, all the incredible friends I have met along the way, my fans that stuck with me even through the rough days and finally last but not least my family… my mum and dad who have been incredible support from day one, sisters and brothers, friends and my wife @daisydagg who was there from my school rugby days, right through to my last. Your love, support and guidance has meant the world to me. Arlo and Tilly I love you so so much and I can’t wait to watch you grow and support you through the good and the tough times (eh Tilly) haha .. if I have forgot someone then tough luck ha nah thanks again everyone I’m all good and super excited for the next chapter in my life 🙏🙏 love you all and peace ❤️ #AB1101 #CRU149

A post shared by Israel Jamahl Akuhata Dagg (@izzy_dagg) on

Dagg, one of the characters of top level rugby, played 66 tests for the All Blacks between 2010 and 2017, 89 matches for the Crusaders (2011-2018), 25 games for the Highlanders (2009-2010), and made 50 appearances for Hawke’s Bay between 2006 and 2015.

“It’s been an honour to represent the All Blacks, Crusaders and Hawke’s Bay over the years and I’m incredibly proud to have worn each of those jerseys throughout my career.

EDITORS PICKS:

“While it’s bittersweet to mark the end of my playing career, I’m grateful to still be able to contribute to this Crusaders team in 2019 and help prepare some of the younger squad members to take the next step in their own careers.

“On a personal note, I’m looking forward to taking on some new challenges in the future, and looking forward to spending more time with my young family.”

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