All Blacks: Brodie Retallick confirms Kobelco Steelers return after World Cup

Brodie Retallick Chiefs SRP 2022 - PA.jpg Credit: Alamy
Brodie Retallick Chiefs SRP 2022 - PA.jpg Credit: Alamy

Veteran All Blacks second-row Brodie Retallick has announced that the upcoming Super Rugby season will be his last one as a Chiefs player as he will be furthering his career with Kobelco Steelers in 2024.

The 31-year-old confirmed he is set for a second stint with the Japan Rugby League One outfit after also spending a two-year sabbatical with them following the 2019 Rugby World Cup.

Keen to go out on a high

The former World Rugby Player of the Year is determined to finish his Chiefs career on a high and wants to to his 100 All Blacks Test caps in 2023.

“I would like to thank the Gallagher Chiefs for giving me the opportunity to represent them and the Waikato region,” said Retallick.

“Coming from outside of the region to Hamilton in 2012 is a decision that has given my family and I endless memories and friendships both on and off the field that will last a lifetime.

“Although I’m moving on next year, I look forward to running onto my favourite stadium, FMG Stadium Waikato, and playing Chiefs rugby in front of our fans and supporters a few more times yet.”

Chiefs head coach Clayton McMillan paid tribute to Retallick and said they are indebted to the contribution he made at the Hamilton-based club.

“Brodie is a truly outstanding player on the field in every respect – and one of the leading locks to play the game,” said McMillan.

“More importantly off the field he has been a quiet leader and massive contributor to the development of our young new players coming through.

“He stands for all the values that we hold dear here at the Chiefs Rugby Club and he is always going to be welcome here. We wish him and his family our best.”

Retallick also thanked New Zealand Rugby and the Hawkes Bay union who he made his provincial debut for in 2010.

“To play for the All Blacks is and has always been a privilege. The memories and friendships created by playing Test matches all around the world is indescribable and something I will treasure.

Exciting year ahead

“This is still an exciting year ahead for me here in New Zealand and I would like to take the opportunity to thank the fans for their continued support.

“I also have to say a big thanks to everyone at Hawke’s Bay for giving me a shot in first-class rugby that led to everything I have experienced now.”

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