Crockett calls time on ABs
Veteran All Blacks and Crusaders prop Wyatt Crockett has retired from international rugby.
The 35-year-old yesterday announced that 2018 will also be his last season with the Crusaders but he will stay in New Zealand having signed a two-year deal to play for the Tasman Mako in the Mitre 10 Cup.
Crockett, who last year became the most capped Super Rugby player in history, has won 71 caps for the All Blacks since his international debut in 2008.
He was part of the All Blacks squad that won the 2015 Rugby World Cup.
‘‘It is never an easy thing to know when the time is right, but my family have made a number of sacrifices over the past 13 years which have allowed me to live out my dream,’’ he said in a statement.
‘‘Now it’s time for me to give back to them, simply by being there more than I have been able to as a professional rugby player.
‘‘To all of the coaches, management, supporters and of course, my team mates over the years, thank you for your belief, support and friendship throughout my international and Super Rugby career.
‘‘I intend on making the most of my last season with the Crusaders, enjoying every minute of it and giving this team everything I’ve got.’’
All Blacks coach Steve Hansen led the tributes to Crockett, saying he’s been a great servant of the game.
‘‘On behalf of the All Blacks, I want to thank ‘Crocky’ for everything he has done for the team.
‘‘I’d also like to take the opportunity to thank his wife Jenna for the sacrifices the family made to allow him to be available to play the game for as long as he has.
‘‘He leaves the All Blacks as a world-class front rower, senior professional and much-loved member of our squad.
‘‘We’re all incredibly proud of
"It is never an easy thing to know when the time is right, but my family have made a number of sacrifices over the past 13 years which have allowed me to live out my dream." Wyatt Crockett
what he has achieved and we wish him and his family all the very best.’’
Crockett was part of Scott Rob- ertson’s Crusaders side who won the Super Rugby title last year.
Robertson said: ‘‘Crocky leaves behind a fantastic legacy here at the Crusaders.
‘‘He provides leadership every time he takes the field and his mindset is never to give any less than 100 per cent.
‘‘From a team perspective, he’s played a huge role in shaping our culture here and has mentored many a player during his 13 years in the side.
‘‘So while his presence around here will be sorely missed, his legacy is firmly entrenched in red and black rugby.’’
Crockett was born in Christ- church but raised in Golden Bay, near Nelson. He made his provincial debut for Canterbury in 2005 before first featuring for the Crusaders the following year.
In 2011, Crockett was New Zealand Super Rugby player of the year and he holds the record for playing in 49 consecutive undefeated tests for the All Blacks from 2012 to 2017.
After the Crusaders beat the Chiefs 45-23 in Christchurch on Saturday, Crockett had 187 Super Rugby caps to his name.
Prop mates Wyatt Crockett and Joe Moody at a Crusaders training session.