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25-year-old Black Ferns Sevens star announces shock retirement

By Alex McLeod
(Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images)

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Black Ferns Sevens star Gayle Broughton has announced her retirement from rugby at the age of just 25.

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A statement released by New Zealand Rugby [NZR] on Saturday said that Broughton has opted to step away from her rugby career after her Black Ferns Sevens contract expired.

The 2020 Olympics gold medallist, 2016 Olympics silver medallist, 2018 Commonwealth Games gold medallist, 2018 Sevens World Cup champion and six-time World Sevens Series winner will now move to Australia to live with family.

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Since her Black Ferns Sevens debut as an 18-year-old in 2014, Broughton amassed 315 points across 112 World Sevens Series matches.

“I want to thank everyone who has played a part in my journey,” Brougthon said in a social media post.

“I want to thank everyone who has played a part in my journey, firstly thanks to those who gave this 16-year-old Hawera kid an opportunity of a lifetime.

“Making this decision was very hard but the never-ending love from the Black Ferns Sevens whanau has taught me it was the right time.

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“You taught me that I am more than just a rugby player, that through life I must be courageous and most of all to never stop being me.

“This game has taught me so much on and off the field, who knows what’s next but I’m extremely excited to see where this journey takes me.”

Black Ferns Sevens coach Cory Sweeney said the NZR sevens programme is proud of Broughton’s contributions since joining the national women’s sevens side as a teenager.

“Gayle joined the Black Ferns Sevens as a 16-year-old who had come from some challenges and we have watched her grow into an extremely talented rugby player and an even better person,” he said via a statement.

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“We are so proud of her, and while for now she is going in a different direction, she will always be big part of the legacy that is the Black Ferns Sevens. She goes with our blessing and knows she is always a part of our whanau and the door is always open.”

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