All Blacks prop Wyatt Crockett announces international retirement
Last Updated: 26/02/18 11:19pm
New Zealand prop Wyatt Crockett has announced his retirement from international rugby.
The 35-year-old, part of the successful 2015 World Cup campaign, revealed his decision on social media and confirmed this season will be his last campaign with Super Rugby champions Crusaders.
Crockett, who has played 71 Tests for the All Blacks, has lost only three matches since his international debut in 2009 and will stay in New Zealand after he signed a two-year deal to play for the Tasman Mako in the Mitre 10 Cup.
"It is never an easy thing to know when the time is right, but my family have made a number of sacrifices over the past 13 years which have allowed me to live out my dream," Crockett said.
"Now it's time for me to give back to them, simply by being there more than I have been able to as a professional rugby player.
"To all of the coaches, management, supporters and of course, my team-mates over the years, thank you for your belief, support and friendship throughout my international and Super Rugby career.
"I intend on making the most of my last season with the Crusaders, enjoying every minute of it and giving this team everything I've got."
The veteran of the All Blacks set-up, who featured during the Lions series last summer, became the most capped Super Rugby player in history last year.
All Blacks coach Steve Hansen was one of the first to lead the tributes to Crockett, saying he has been a great servant to the sport and a "much-loved member of our squad".
"On behalf of the All Blacks, I want to thank 'Crocky' for everything he has done for the team," Hansen said.
"I'd also like to take the opportunity to thank his wife Jenna for the sacrifices the family made to allow him to be available to play the game for as long as he has.
"He leaves the All Blacks as a world-class front rower, senior professional and much-loved member of our squad.
"We're all incredibly proud of what he has achieved and we wish him and his family all the very best."