All Blacks fullback Israel Dagg has decided to hang up his boots with immediate effect at just 30-years-old, nine years after making his test debut.
A long-term knee injury prevented Dagg from performing and training at his world class standard. Upon medical advice the fullback decided it was time to call it a day.
Dagg has been a consistent performer at the highest level for the most part of the last 10 years. He represented the Crusaders 89 times, Highlanders 25 as well as 50 caps for the Hawke’s Bay Magpies.
The former outside back earned total of 66 caps for the All Blacks in what will always be seen as rugby’s golden generation. A period during which the team lifted the World Cup, Tri-Nations and Rugby Championship on more than one occasion.
“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.
Although his playing days are over the former All Black will serve as a mentor within the Crusaders squad.
“While it’s bittersweet to mark the end of my playing career,” he said. “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.”
It is a great misfortune to the rugby community to lose such a skilful and influential player at the age of 30. However, it does off Dagg a chance to refocus and adjust perspectives as he begins a new chapter.
“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.”