Whitelock announces retirement

Whitelock announces retirement

By Alipate Narawa
Wednesday 03/04/2024
[Image: Newshub]

All Blacks great Samuel Whitelock has announced he will retire from all professional rugby at the end of the current club season in France where he is playing for Pau.

The 35-year-old has called time on an illustrious professional career that started with Canterbury in 2008 and saw him become the most-capped All Black in history with 153 caps to his name, winning two Rugby World Cups and multiple other titles along the way.

While he feels more than capable of his ability to continue playing at the top level, Whitelock has decided that after 17 years of dedication to his profession, he would like to focus on other areas in his life.

Whitelock says he has been having a few conversations with his wife Hannah and the kids around what the future looks like for them, and it is time to finish the playing chapter of rugby.

He says if you talk to anyone who has played for a long time, that desire [to compete] never leaves, it’s just that stage of life when you move on.

The towering lock says it is not a decision that they have come to lightly, but it’s the right thing for him, his wife and their three kids - Fred, Iris and Penelope.

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[Image: Getty Images]

He says that is what excites him the most – spending more time with his kids and wife, and actually watching them play sport.

Whitelock says it is hard to thank everyone, but obviously his wife Hannah has been a massive part along with his parents, brothers, cousins, uncles, aunties and grandparents.

He says he is very appreciative of the support he has had and there is no way he could have achieved the things he has without them.

Whitelock was the youngest All Black to reach 100 Tests and the quickest in the world to achieve the milestone. By the end of 2023 he had played 153 Test matches and sits second on the all-time list of most-capped internationals.

He says the thing he is proud of is that he never really counted Test matches – he always wanted to make the Test matches count.

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Whitelock says if it was his last one, he wanted to be able to walk away and say ‘he gave it everything, he didn’t hold anything back, and he was fully committed.

He says his gratitude also extends to all of the coaches, support staff and administrators that made his time in professional rugby an enjoyable one.

All Blacks Head Coach Scott Robertson says "Sam is an immortal of our incredible game.

Robertson says first and foremost, Whitelock is a quality person.

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[Image: Getty Images]

He says he is a great husband and father who has a special ability to build deep connections with people from all walks of life.

The All Blacks coach says in terms of his rugby, Sam’s impact has been immense both mentally and physically over four World Cup cycles.

He says Whitelock is a winner who rose to any occasion as his competitive spirit drove him to the highest level of performance.

Source: Allblacks.com

FNRL
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