Born in Marton, New Zealand, Israel Dagg was always tipped to be a rugby superstar.
The Lindisfarne College old boy is an outstanding athlete, described in the 2006 New Zealand Rugby Almanack as a fullback with speed, skill and decision-making ability that belies his age.
Dagg hit the rugby headlines in 2006 when the 18-year-old became the first secondary school player to be selected for Hawke’s Bay since his teammate, former All Blacks halfback Danny Lee, first played for the province in 1994.
After an under age career which saw him represent his country at all age levels, including playing a host of sevens matches, he joined the Highlanders in Super Rugby, before moving on to the Crusaders.
Dagg is blessed with blistering pace and a great step, as well as the hands needed to unlock a defence at International level. After impressing in the Super Rugby competition in 2010, he got his first opportunity in an All Blacks jersey, making his bow in a victory against Ireland.
He has held on to the 15 jersey since, becoming a world cup winner in 2011. After a few seasons troubled with injury and poor form he forced his way back into all Black contention in the 2015 season and was included in the wider RWC Squad as well as the Rugby Championship squad for the All Blacks.
He played three Tests in 2015 but was not selected for the RWC 2015 squad. After a lengthy recovery period following surgery on a dislocated shoulder suffered playing for Hawke's Bay, he returned in great form for the Crusaders in 2016 and earned a recall to the All Blacks.
In February 2017, Dagg re-signed for New Zealand Rugby, the Crusaders and Hawke’s Bay Magpies through to 2019.
Dagg made his 100th appearance for the Crusaders in the opening round of Super Rugby 2017. He has scored 258 points that includes 32 tries, 19 conversions and 20 penalties.
In June 2017, Dagg was selected to represent the All Blacks during the NZ Lions series. He has won 66 caps.
Dagg's ability to regularly create space and options for his teammates mae him a real nuisance for Warren Gatland's defence over the Test series.
In July 2018, Dagg ruled himself out of All Blacks contention for the rest of 2018 after signing a short-term contract with Japanese club Canon Eagles.
April 2018 saw him announce his retirement from rugby following a long-term knee injury.
(LS April 4, 2019)
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