All Black and Crusaders star Israel Dagg has announced his retirement from the game at the age of 30.
Dagg had a long-term knee injury that just didn’t heal and after seeking medical advice he decided to hang up his boots.
Dagg made his provincial debut at the age of just 18 for Hawke’s Bay.
Between 2009 and 2010 he played 25 Super Rugby matches for the Highlanders before moving to the Crusaders.
He appeared in 89 matches for the Crusaders between 2011 and 2018.
He made his All Black debut against Ireland in 2010 and went on to earn 66 caps for the Kiwis.
He also won the World Cup in 2011 and back-to-back Super Rugby trophies for the Crusaders in 2017 and 2018.
Dagg looks back at a stellar career.
“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.
“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.”
New Zealand Rugby CEO Steve Tew has led the tributes to Dagg.
“On behalf of all rugby fans both here and around the world, I want to thank Israel for his stellar service to New Zealand rugby.
“He leaves us as one of the greats of our game and the second most capped All Blacks fullback of all time. He was an excitement machine on the rugby field and fans knew that when he got the ball in his hands that anything could happen.
Written by Carl Coertzen
Image Credit: Rugby Pass