This weekend the former All Black’s captain announced his retirement from rugby as a whole, after his Japan based side, Toyota Verblitz bowed out in the semi-final against Panasonic Wild Knights. At the age of 35, Read has had an illustrious career for both club and country and has certainly earned his retirement.
Having won almost every trophy on offer, whether as a member of the All Blacks squad, as captain of the All Blacks or during his long tenure for the Crusaders, one of rugby’s greatest players will be sorely missed on the playing field and fondly remembered for his immense contribution to the game.
At international level, Read was capped 128 times for the All Blacks, 52 of those as captain. He won the Rugby World Cup with them in both 2011 and 2015. He won rugby player of the year in 2013 and was an integral member of a powerful forward pack.
Read played his first professional rugby for Canterbury in 2006 before receiving his Crusaders debut a year later in 2007. It only took one season for him to receive an All Blacks call up and he was capped for the first time at international level in 2008.
Read retired from international rugby after the 2019 Rugby World Cup with his final match being the 3rd - 4th play off between New Zealand and Wales following their semi-final defeat to England. Read then made the move to Japan where he played two season for Toyota Verblitz. Read on announcing his retirement said he was looking forward to his return to New Zealand and the extra time he would now have with his family.
156 Caps for the Crusaders
4 Super Rugby Trophies
128 Test Caps
52 Caps as Captain
7 Rugby Championship titles
11 Bledisloe Cup titles
2 Rugby World Cup titles
2013 World Player of the year