Former All Black and Crusaders scrum-half Andy Ellis has confirmed his abrupt retirement from rugby after the remainder of the Japanese Top League was called off due to the global pandemic.
Ellis, 36, was playing for current Top League champions Kobelco Steelers with Dan Carter and was told to return home for a couple of weeks when the Top League was first suspended in late February.
“Two weeks after that, we were told it’s cancelled,” Ellis told Newshub. “This was my last season and now I’m retired.”
The Steelers were one of two teams who enjoyed an unbeaten start to the season along with the Panasonic Wild Knights with the Steelers sitting in second place on the log before the competition was called off.
Over his illustrious career claiming a Rugby World Cup medal, two Super Rugby titles and six New Zealand provincial championships since his first-class debut in 2005 as well as 28 test caps and over 150 appearances for the Crusaders.
Ellis said that he isn’t the only high-profile former All Black at Kobelco hanging up his boots prematurely.
"I've been having a bit of a giggle with my old mate Dan Carter and he's in the same boat… he's retiring after the end of the season."
Carter's incredible professional career has seen him win two Rugby World Cups, three Super Rugby crowns, two Top 14 titles, a Top League championship and three World Rugby player of the year awards, among many other honours.