All Blacks winger Israel Dagg has been forced to call time on his rugby career at the age of 30, with a long-term knee injury putting an end to his time in the sport. Dagg was one of the most electrifying players in world rugby on his day, amassing a personal tally of 138 test points in 66 caps for his country.
He won a number of major honours in the game, including a World Cup win in 2011 and two Super Rugby Championships with Crusaders. Dagg announced the news in a post on Instagram. He had this to say:
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.
Dagg made his debut against Ireland in 2010, going on to establish himself as a key player in the New Zealand side, starring in the 2011 World Cup. He missed out on the World Cup squad in 2015, but would go on to regain his place in the side, playing a role when the Lions toured the country two years later.
All Blacks coach Steve Hansen praised the player after the announcement:
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.