All Black captain calls time on his career
NEWS: Former All Black captain Kieran Read has officially retired from the game following Verblitz’s semifinal loss to the Wild Knights at the weekend.
The 35-year-old confirmed ahead of the match that this would be his final season in Japan and his final season playing top-flight rugby.
Following Saturday’s 21-48 loss, Read will now return to New Zealand and is looking forward to spending time with his family.
Read played 128 matches for the All Blacks, including 52 as captain, and was a member of the 2011 and 2015 World Cup-winning sides.
The dynamic loose forward set a new standard for No.8s around the world with his strong carrying game, excellent work in the wider channels and dependable line-out presence.
Read debuted for Canterbury in 2006 and the Crusaders a year later, before earning his first All Blacks cap in 2008.
It didn’t take long for the North Island native to cement himself as one of Canterbury’s favourite sons, accumulating 38 appearances for the province as well as 156 for the Crusaders.
Read relocated to his province of birth, Counties Manukau, for the NPC in 2017 but didn’t make any competition appearances for the Steelers until last year, when he returned to NZ following the cancellation of the Top League.
Read was anointed World Rugby’s Player of the Year in 2013 and won four Super Rugby titles with the Crusaders, playing his last match for the franchise in 2019.
The official Twitter accounts of the All Blacks, Wallabies and World Rugby all acknowledged Read’s retirement from the game and congratulate the loose forward for his lengthy career.
Read took to social media to make the announcement before his Verblitz team lost to Robbie Deans’ Wild Knights in the semifinals of Japan’s Top League.
“I’m looking forward to returning to New Zealand and spending time with my family,” the 35-year-old said.
Thank you, Reado. We wish you all the best in your retirement from professional rugby. pic.twitter.com/zOCybXOr5G
— All Blacks (@AllBlacks) May 15, 2021
After a stellar career, Kieran Read has announced his retirement from professional rugby pic.twitter.com/oWW4sv9UsG
— World Rugby (@WorldRugby) May 15, 2021
🤝 Congratulations to Kieran Read on a fine career. All the best in retirement mate. pic.twitter.com/YMZUAo9eE5
— Wallabies (@wallabies) May 15, 2021
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