World Cup winning All Black Israel Dagg has announced his retirement from rugby at the age of 30. The Crusaders wing has been battling a persistent knee problem for the past number of years and has decided to call it a day based on medical advice.
Dagg knew it was time for him to call time on his rugby career when he could hardly walk the day after trying to chase down his Crusaders teammate Richie Mo’unga in training.
The Hawke’s Bay back represented his country 66 times scoring 26 tries, two penalties and a conversion. He made 89 Super Rugby appearances for the Crusaders, scoring 28 tries.
“My knee’s been pretty niggly for the last couple of years so it’s been coming for a while. I’m just glad it’s out there and I’m just very grateful to everyone for showing me the support and love…it’s been going crazy,” Dagg told The Hits Christchurch.Embed from Getty Images
“It’s just been bone on bone every time I run, kick …it’s just constantly rubbing and bruising the bone. I had major surgery to get it fixed and I’ve just had to call it quits on the footy. And now I just have to worry about life.”
Dagg has battled a string of serious injuries, including to his shoulder and right knee, for a number of years before taking medical advice to hang up his boots.Embed from Getty Images
Dagg made his debut as an 18-year-old for Hawke’s Bay in 2006 and played his first test in 2010. He represented the Crusaders 89 times.
He was part of the victorious World Cup side in 2011 and claimed back-to-back Super Rugby championships with the Crusaders in 2017 and 2018.Embed from Getty Images
Dagg revealed he nearly quit rugby four years ago after failing to make the All Blacks squad for the 2015 World Cup.Embed from Getty Images
World Rugby Gives Deadline for Nations Championship
World Rugby have given the 10 unions from the Six Nations and Rugby Championship a final deadline to decide on the Nations Championship
For their plans to be progressed World Rugby needs a unanimous decision from the 10 unions.
If that is to happen, they plan to launch their new format in 2022, with winners of the Six Nations and an expanded six-team Rugby Championship going head to head.
The final proposals of the Nations Championship will have to be passed by a vote of the full World Rugby council, however none of this will go ahead unless there is backing from the 10 nations.
Proposals have included creating two-tier tournaments for the Six Nations and Rugby Championship which would include the possibility of relegation or promotion.
A format which Six Nations unions appear to dislike.
As well as this there is the issue of the Pacific Islands, who believe that the creation of such tournaments would mean that they would be less likely to face the top nations in November and therefore be unable to develop as they currently are.
Whatever is to happen will become clearer in the next couple of days and it could be the start of a new era for international rugby.
Offer Kerevi Turned Down was “very, very good”
Wallabies’ director of rugby Scott Johnson rues the loss of one of the nation’s star players
Wallabies’ director of rugby Scott Johnson has admitted that Rugby Australia did all they could to secure the services of Samu Kerevi.
The 25-year-old centre has starred for both club and country but turned down a contract extension with both and will move to Japan following the conclusion of the World Cup later this year.
“Let’s get it straight, the offer was good. I’ve seen the offer that Samu was given and it was a very, very good offer that would have put him in the higher echelons of our country,” he said.
The decision to leave by the 23-capped Aussie is also due to off-field matters and Johnson knows that it is complicated.
“It’s not perfect for him and for us and we understand there are issues away from the game for him. It opens the door for other players who we may be talking about in a different light in 12 months’ time,” he added.
Kerevi becomes that latest player to head overseas to play their trade, and he is well below the 60-cap requirement needed for such players to represent the Wallabies, but Johnson stands by the law.
“I think the key component is that we have a responsibility to make sure our competition is the best in the world. It’s great to be able to control the player – their strength and conditioning and their skill development. We understand there are challenges but at the moment we think there’s a nice mix of rewarding longevity,” he finished.
However, former-Wallaby captain Stirling Mortlock, who was also at the function, believes that Rugby Australia needs a serious change, or it will face massive problems in the future.
“It’s a massive challenge and if we don’t get our house in order in four years’ time, we will have to change the eligibility rule because you might have a lot of players not in Super Rugby. It baffles me that we still haven’t got our house in order with everyone pulling in the same direction. We’ve got still different factions in different areas looking after their own backyard and that’s what’s stifling us. The New Zealand model is all about creating great All Blacks and everyone club and player knows that, but it doesn’t happen in this country,” he said.
Wallabies fans are certainly not pleased by the loss of Kerevi and Rugby Australia will need to do something soon to ensure that key players stay with them in the future.
Jones to Stay with England Post 2021?
Eddie Jones has committed his future to the England national team but how long will he stay for?
New RFU chief executive Bill Sweeney has admitted that England head coach Eddie Jones could stay beyond his contract which runs out in 2021.
Along with this Sweeney announced that assistant coach John Mitchell has signed a contract until 2021 also, which had been reported earlier by the Telegraph.
The move for Mitchell is to coincide with Jones’ contract according to Sweeney.
“We have extended John Mitchell’s contract through to be consistent with Eddie’s, so it goes through to June of 2021. That was in full consultation with Eddie. He and I spoke about it about five, six weeks ago maybe. It is part of Eddie’s long-term coaching structure plans. So we entered into negotiations with John, he is keen to stay and we concluded the agreement about three weeks ago. He is contracted now through to June 2021,” he said.
Mitchell joined Jones’ set-up just before the Red Roses Autumn internationals and has overseen a positive turn in results since.
Sweeney continued on to say that Jones could potentially remain at the helm after his current contract runs out.
“It is possible, we are not looking at that at this stage. The focus now is really on the World Cup and then making sure we get our plans in place post World Cup. Eddie has reconfirmed his commitment through to 2021. We have lots of conversations on that and he has said he wants to stay through to the end of that contracted period. So, from that perspective we’ve already started conversations around what will the structure and look of that coaching team be coming back from Japan,” he added.
Although Mitchell has extended his contract there are several others in the coaching set-up of England that are yet to commit, and Jones is looking at candidates to sign up according to Sweeney.
“He has got a number of names in the frame. We haven’t approached them yet. We wouldn’t contract anyone pre-World Cup. But he has got in mind how he would like to structure that as soon as we get back. We would confirm it immediately as soon as we got back,” he continued.
If speculation is to be believed then Mitchell’s extension could be part of a plan for him to eventually replace Jones as head coach of the English team, however, for now Jones will stay in charge.
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