Israel Dagg celebrates winning the Super Rugby title with the Crusaders against the Lions at Ellis Park in 2017. Photo: Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix

WELLINGTON – Former All Black wing Israel Dagg announced his retirement from rugby Friday after failing to recover from a knee injury.

The World Cup winner played 66 Tests for New Zealand, debuting against Ireland in 2010, and also won back-to-back Super Rugby titles with the Crusaders in 2017 and 2018.

“While it’s bittersweet to mark the end of my playing career, I’m grateful to still be able to contribute to this Crusaders team in 2019, and help prepare some of the younger squad members to take the next step in their own careers,” he said.

New Zealand Rugby chief executive Steve Tew hailed Dagg, 30, as “one of the greats of our game”.

“He was an excitement machine on the rugby field, and fans knew that when he got the ball in his hands, that anything could happen,” Tew said.

Dagg was part of the All Blacks 2011 World Cup win, but was dropped for the 2015 campaign, when the New Zealanders were also victorious.

He bounced back determined to prove a point and again became an All Black regular, playing his last Test against Argentina in September 2017.