Rugby news | All Blacks great Dane Coles retires from professional rugby

All Blacks great Dane Coles has announced his impending retirement from international rugby.

Coles will bring his illustrious 17-year-long career to an end following this year’s Rugby World Cup in France.

Come 2023, the 36-year-old veteran hooker will step away from professional rugby.

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He represented Wellington in the National Provincial Championship, the Hurricanes in Super Rugby, the Maori All Blacks internationally, and the All Blacks at Test match level.

“Thank you to Pōneke FC, Wellington, the Hurricanes and the All Blacks for giving me my dream job,” said Coles.

“I’m looking forward to enjoying the year and creating some new memories.”

Coles currently sits third-equal next to Ardie Savea on the all-time scorers’ list for All Blacks forwards.

Only All Blacks legends Richie McCaw (135) and Kieren Read (130) sit above Coles and Savea. 

Coles is also the third most capped hooker in All Blacks history with 84 caps to his credit, just behind Keven Mealamu (132) and Sean Fitzpatrick (92).

All Blacks coach Ian Foster hailed Coles’ contribution.

“Dane is a hundred percent committed, loves his family, loves his rugby,” said Foster.

“And there is no doubt about his absolute commitment to the Hurricanes and the All Black jersey.”

Among Coles’ achievements are captaining the Hurricanes on their way to the 2016 Super Rugby title.

He was also part of the Rugby World Cup winning squad in 2015 and was a World Rugby Player of the Year nominee.

Coles is the latest experienced head to call it quits at the end of the year.

Aaron Smith, Beauden Barrett and Brodie Retallick have all revealed they will step away from the New Zealand Rugby fold after the World Cup.

The All Blacks will face France in the tournament-opener later this year.

Before that, the All Blacks will play Argentina, South Africa, and Australia on home soil.

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