All Blacks star Brodie Retallick has suggested that he is regarding the 2023 World Cup in France as his last chapter in international rugby. The second row also does not rule out ending the day but says that playing in Japan is an option after the next world tournament. Rugby fans can book Rugby World Cup Tickets on our website at exclusively discounted prices.
Retallick, who has played 81 games for New Zealand since his debut in 2012, is currently on a sabbatical in Asia, playing for the Kobelco Steelers in the Top League. He is set to return to the Chiefs in 2022, which will make him available for the international team before the next World Cup, and the 29-year-old believes that the tournament could be the last for the All Blacks.
Two seasons with the Chiefs
I look forward, if everything goes according to plan, to go back to the All Blacks and play two seasons for the Chiefs, he told The XV. Realistically, they will probably be the last couple in New Zealand before I decide what to do next, be it hang up my boots or maybe go back to Japan.
“I have a rough idea in my head of how I plan to do the last third of my career, or whatever you want to call it. If that goes according to plan or if I’ve changed my mind, I’m not sure. But I have a family and a wife and kids and stuff, so you have to think about these things.”
Despite still being on the right side of 30, the outstanding forward has felt the physical damage of the sport having excelled at the highest level from a young age. Retallick was one of the stars of the New Zealand Under-20 team in 2011 and was soon a regular starter for the Chiefs in Super Rugby in 2012.
He led it to his debut with the All Blacks in the same year and has been around ever since, helping them lift the Webb Ellis Cup in 2015.
“When I came to the Chiefs, and from there, to get to the All Blacks, those first five or six years were pretty full, I played a lot of rugby,” Padlock said.
“Sometimes I would joke with people, they would say ‘Oh, you’re not that old’ and I’d say ‘Yes, but I’ve played a lot of rugby.”
“Looking back at the last two or three years, I don’t know if those kinds of injuries that started to affect me were a price for playing a lot of rugby in those early years or not, I’m not sure. But coming to Japan was definitely the result of the amount of rugby I played in those first five or six years.”
Many of the best All Blacks decide to go to Europe after his international career is over, but Retallick insists the option has never appealed to him.
“I have never honestly considered the northern hemisphere, he added. Either he stayed in New Zealand or he came to Japan. Obviously, you never say never, but we’ve really enjoyed our time in Japan and the Kobelco Steelers have been amazing to us with all their support and stuff. So yeah, I’m not going to say no, but I’m probably not looking to go there at all.”
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