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Star lock's All Blacks career to end after World Cup

NEWS: Veteran New Zealand lock Brodie Retallick confirmed that he will continue his stellar career overseas following the 2023 season.

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Retallick, 31, has opted for a second stint with Kobe-based Kobelco Steelers, who he also played for in 2020-21, after the World Cup in France finishes in October.

He joins Beauden Barrett, Aaron Smith, Ardie Savea, Richie Mo’unga and Shannon Frizell, who have all signed to play for Japanese clubs in 2024.

All Blacks superstar Barrett and veteran scrumhalf Smith said on Tuesday they will join Verblitz, currently coached by World Cup-winning New Zealander Steve Hansen.

Retallick is preparing for what is likely to be his final season of Super Rugby Pacific with the Chiefs, as well as his last year with the All Blacks.

“I would like to thank New Zealand Rugby and the All Blacks for the opportunity to represent them over the last 12 years,” said Retallick. “To play for the All Blacks is and has always been a privilege. The memories and friendships created by playing Test matches all around the world is indescribable and something I will treasure.

“This is still an exciting year ahead for me here in New Zealand and I would like to take the opportunity to thank the fans for their continued support.

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“I would also like to thank the Chiefs for giving me the opportunity to represent them and the Waikato region. Coming from outside of the region to Hamilton in 2012 is a decision that has given my family and I endless memories and friendships, both on and off the field, that will last a lifetime.

“I also have to say a big thanks to everyone at Hawke’s Bay for giving me a shot in first-class rugby that led to everything I have experienced now.”

All Blacks coach Ian Foster welcomed the news but said he is confident Retallick will remain a “hundred percent focused on what we need to achieve this year” as the World Cup looms.

AFP & @AllBlacks

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