New Zealand prop Wyatt Crockett has announced his international retirement and will also call time on his Super Rugby career at the end of the 2018 season.
The 35-year-old, who earned the last of his 71 caps for the All Blacks against Wales last November, announced the decision via social media on Tuesday.
A World Cup winner in 2015, Crockett holds the record for playing in the most consecutive undefeated Tests, having gone 49 matches without a loss between 2012 and 2017.
He is also the most capped player in Super Rugby history, having made his 188th appearance for the Crusaders in last weekend’s victory over the Chiefs.
“It is never an easy thing to know when the time is right, but my family have made a number of sacrifices over the past 13 years which have allowed me to live out my dream,” Crockett was quoted as saying by the All Blacks’ official website.
“Now it’s time for me to give back to them, simply by being there more than I have been able to as a professional rugby player.
“I intend on making the most of my last season with the Crusaders, enjoying every minute of it and giving this team everything I’ve got.”
“It’s never an easy thing to know when the time is right” – Wyatt Crockett announces his retirement from international rugby. pic.twitter.com/9bfpIlRgzj
— All Blacks (@AllBlacks) February 26, 2018
New Zealand Rugby CEO Steve Tew said: “I want to thank ‘Crocky’ for his tremendous service to the game.
“He is one of the game’s good guys, has been an outstanding, hard-working professional rugby player and the ultimate team man in every team he has played in, whether it be Canterbury, the Crusaders or the All Blacks.”
Crockett, who will continue his career with the Tasman Mako in the Mitre 10 Cup, was also hailed by All Blacks head coach Steve Hansen.
“On behalf of the All Blacks, I want to thank ‘Crocky’ for everything he has done for the team,” said Hansen. “He’s been a great servant of the game and definitely enhanced the jersey during his time in it.”
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