Former cross-code All Black announces retirement from professional rugby

Former dual-code New Zealand representative Matt Duffie has announced his retirement from professional rugby at the age of 31.

In a social media post published on Saturday, Duffie confirmed he is hanging up the boots after a cross-code career that spanned more than a decade and saw him play for the All Blacks in rugby union and the Kiwis in rugby league.

“The time has come to hang up the boots and I am so happy to be doing it on my terms,” Duffie wrote on Instagram a day after his Mie Honda Heat side lost their Japan Rugby League One promotion-relegation playoff series against the NEC Green Rockets Tokatsu.

“Though its [sic] been a tough decision to come to, I really feel excited about starting the next chapter and I will not miss limping around for 20 mins each morning, let alone the pain after a hard session or game.

“I was truely [sic] blessed to share the locker room with some of the greats of both codes, encounters many only dream of, its [sic] not lost how fortunate I was for those experiences.

“I want to thank all my teammates that I have had throughout my time, its truely [sic] a connection that lasts a lifetime, looking forward to a beer and a yarn when our paths cross.

“Thank you to all the coaches I have had, I have learnt something from everyone that has ever coached me, good or bad, coaches promote growth and I am the person I am today with those experiences.

“To the fans, the beating heart of Sport, thank you for always supporting me. I hope I have made you proud. I also hope you had a good laugh whenever I got bumped off.

After moving to rugby union from rugby league ahead of the 2016 Super Rugby season, Duffie spent five seasons with the Blues, making 54 appearances and scoring 11 tries for the Auckland-based franchise.

During that time, the former outside back also spent four seasons with North Harbour, where he won the 2016 Mitre 10 Cup Championship and scored 22 tries from 39 matches.