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All Blacks veteran Coles to retire at end of 2023

All Blacks World Cup winner Dane Coles will retire at the end of this year, the veteran hooker said on Thursday.

He will hang up his boots after 17 years of professional rugby for Wellington, the Hurricanes and the All Blacks.

Coles, who turns 37 in December, started the 2015 World Cup final when New Zealand beat Australia at Twickenham.

His most recent appearance for the All Blacks came in a 39-37 win over Australia last September.

The Rugby World Cup takes place this September-October in France.

The 20 tries he has scored in 84 Tests makes Coles the joint third-highest points-scoring forward in All Blacks history behind only Richie McCaw and Kieran Read.

“Thank you to Poneke FC (his local club), Wellington, the Hurricanes and the All Blacks for giving me my dream job,” Coles said.

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

Coles has played international rugby for 11 seasons.

Only Sean Fitzpatrick (92) and Keven Mealamu (132) have made more appearances for the All Blacks at hooker.

Coles captained the Hurricanes to the 2016 Super Rugby title when he led the team to victory over the Johannesburg-based Lions despite a rib injury.


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