Former All Black Dagg announces retirement from rugby

Former New Zealand utility back Israel Dagg has announced his retirement from rugby.

The 30-year-old, who operated on the wing and at full-back, has struggled to recover from a long-term knee injury and has decided to hang up his boots after taking advice from medical staff.

Dagg played 66 Test matches for the All Blacks between 2010 and 2017, scoring 26 tries.

He won the World Cup with New Zealand in 2011 and claimed back-to-back Super Rugby titles with the Crusaders in 2017 and 2018.

"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," Dagg said in a statement on the All Blacks website.

"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 added: "He leaves us as one of the greats of our game and the second most capped All Blacks full-back 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.

"Israel came into professional rugby at a relatively young age but, injuries aside, was able to perform at the highest level for many years and certainly wore the All Blacks jersey with real pride and honour."

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