Dane Coles to retire at the end of 2023

Dane Coles to retire at the end of 2023

Dane Coles is set to leave everything on the field this season, which will be his last in professional rugby.

A Rugby World Cup winner and World Rugby Player of the Year nominee, Coles has decided that he will retire at the end of 2023. It will bring an end to an illustrious 17 years at the top level for Wellington, the Hurricanes, Māori All Blacks and All Blacks.

The 36-year-old, who is of Ngāti Porou decent and raised on the Kāpiti Coast, made the decision recently and wanted to make it official before launching into his final season in New Zealand rugby, starting with the Hurricanes in Super Rugby Pacific.

Since his professional debut for Wellington in 2007, his speed and skills have redefined the hooker position.

With 100 Test points (20 tries), he sits third-equal alongside Ardie Savea on the all-time scorers list for All Blacks forwards. Ahead of them are Richie McCaw (135) and Kieran Read (130).

In 11 international seasons, the 84-Test veteran has also become the third most-capped hooker in All Blacks history behind Keven Mealamu (132) and Sean Fitzpatrick (92).

“I would like to congratulate Dane on an outstanding career that has brought fans so many special moments at all levels of the game,” New Zealand Rugby CEO Mark Robinson said.

“He has been an outstanding servant of the All Blacks, the Hurricanes and Wellington who always puts the team first. We look forward to celebrating this final year of his career with him and his family.”

In 2016 he captained the Hurricanes to their maiden Super Rugby title, famously playing through the pain of rib cartilage damage in the final. That saw him named Wellingtonian of the Year, an award which was quickly followed by the Tom French Memorial Cup for Māori rugby player of the year.

For over a decade he has been one of the Hurricanes’ most popular players.

The former Paraparaumu College and Wellington College student is proud to represent his community, playing 70 games for the Wellington Lions.

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