All Blacks centurion Retallick set to leave New Zealand rugby - report
As reported by Stuff, the star lock will return to his old Japanese club Kobelco Kobe Steelers on a three-year deal.
Since making his international debut against Ireland in 2012, Retallick has become a mainstay of the All Blacks’ matchday squads; soaring to legendary status throughout his decorated career.
To this day, Retallick is the only second-rower in history to win World Rugby’s Men’s 15s Player of the Year, having been recognised for his sensational 2014 campaign in black.
When it’s all said and done, the World Cup winner will go down in history as one of the greatest second rowers in the history of the game – alongside the likes of Colin Meades and Martin Johnson.
While Retallick has previously suggested that 2023 will be his final campaign at test level, the news will undoubtedly come as a major blow to New Zealand rugby.
“I haven’t put anything in concrete,” Retallick told Stuff in June.
“I probably couldn’t see myself going another four years to try and do another World Cup (after 2023).
“So we’ll wait and see what happens. I haven’t made any definite plans yet, but we’ll weigh it up next year.”
If rumours are to be believed, then season could be quite entertaining for fans of the Kobe Steelers and Japanese rugby.
According to The Roar earlier this month, former Wallabies coach Dave Rennie was close to signing with the Japanese for after the World Cup.
Rennie is of course a free agent at the moment, after he was sensationally axed as the Wallabies’ head coach on Monday morning.
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