All Blacks full-back Israel Dagg forced to retire aged 30 due to injury
Last Updated: 05/04/19 8:20am
World Cup-winning full-back Israel Dagg has been forced to retire from rugby aged 30 due to a knee injury.
Dagg won 66 caps for New Zealand, scoring 26 tries, and was a member of the side that won the Rugby World Cup on home soil in 2011.
He also made 114 Super Rugby appearances for the Highlanders and Crusaders, helping the latter win back-to-back titles in 2017 and 2018.
Dagg's long-term knee injury did not allow him to train or play at an elite level and, after taking medical advice, he decided to retire.
"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," said Dagg.
"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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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 @halosportnz , 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
All Blacks head coach Steve Hansen added: "It's always a shame when injury forces a player to retire, but 'Izzy' will leave our game knowing that he'll forever be remembered as an outstanding player who definitely enhanced the All Blacks jersey and contributed to the legacy of the team.
"He had an outstanding debut season for us in 2010, scoring that final try in the Test against the Springboks in Johannesburg, and then took that form into the Rugby World Cup in 2011 where he was one of the stars of the tournament, and he played a major part in the All Blacks being successful at that tournament.
"We'll all miss his outstanding rugby skills on the field, but he was a real character off the field as well. We'll look back fondly at his time in the black jersey - he's a very special man and a very special player.
"We wish him, wife Daisy and his young family all the very best for what the future holds."