He has been one of the best players in the last decade and it is a sad day for rugby fans to hear that Israel Dagg has hang up his boots.

Dagg long-term knee injury had not allowed him to train and play at an elite level and after taking medical advise he has decided it is time to call time on his career.

He has been one of the most exciting players in his time not just for the Crusaders and Hawke’s Bay but also the All Blacks.

Dagg made his debut at the age of 18 for Hawke’s Bay. When he finish he played 66 test matches for the All Blacks over eight years between 2010 and 2017.

He played 89 matches for the Crusaders between 2011 and 2018 and before that he ran out for the Highlanders 2009 to 2010 playing 25 times.

In this time he won a World Cup with the All Blacks in 2011 and back to back Super Rugby Championships 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.

“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.

All Blacks Head Coach Steve Hansen said: “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.”

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