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Black Ferns legend Kendra Cocksedge announces retirement plans

Kendra Cocksedge. (Photo by Charlie Crowhurst/Getty Images)

New Zealand rugby legend Kendra Cocksedge has announced her retirement after this year’s World Cup.


Cocksedge, 34, will leave the game with a string of records, saving the game’s greatest stage for her final act.

“Nothing goes past winning a World Cup,” she said on Friday.

Cocksedge would know, playing in three World Cups, winning two, including a match-turning effort in the 2017 final with 11 second-half points to win the trophy back off England.

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The Taranaki-raised halfback said she considered retirement after that win.

“I thought about it in 2017 and then people were saying how crazy I was. So I continued to play and I’ve probably played my best footy in the last four years,” she said.

Australia knows her destructive capacity well.

The Wallaroos were left reeling from her best afield showing in last month’s 52-5 loss in Christchurch as New Zealand retained the O’Reilly Cup.

Cocksedge, named 2015 World Rugby player of the year and in the World Rugby team of the 2010s, is both the highest points scorer and most capped Black Fern of all time.

In 2018, she shocked the rugby establishment by becoming the first female to win the Kelvin R Tremain Memorial trophy for best Kiwi player that year.


New Zealand Rugby chief executive Mark Robinson said Cocksedge was a legend with “success without peer”.

All going to plan, Cocksedge’s final game will be the World Cup final on November 12 at Auckland’s Eden Park.

– Ben McKay


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