Black Ferns great Kendra Cocksedge to retire from rugby

Source: 1News

Black Ferns great Kendra Cocksedge has announced she will be retiring from rugby later this year.

The 34-year-old halfback took to social media to confirm her decision, revealing she'll hang up the boots after this year's Rugby World Cup in New Zealand.

"From the age of four I dreamed of being an All Black, until I realised it simply wasn’t possible. However, at 19 my rugby dreams were realised and I was named in the Black Ferns," Cocksedge said.

"After 16 years in the black jersey I sit here and reflect on my childhood dream. I feel incredibly fortunate for the experiences rugby has given me. I’ve had more opportunities than I can count, and have had incredible people alongside me who’ve inspired me to be my best everyday.

"I never could have imagined I’d achieve all that I have, and I am so excited about the future of women’s rugby and the new generation of players, coaches and referees.

"I have decided 2022 will be my last year playing the game I love.

"However, it’s not over for me yet. I have a massive job ahead of me."

Kendra Cocksedge on her way to scoring her first-half try against Australia in Christchurch on Saturday night.

Cocksedge will hope to add a few more milestones to her already staggering rugby resume before she hangs up the boots for good though with Canterbury - unbeaten in this year's Farah Palmer Cup - looking to go all the way and the Black Ferns hoping to defend their 2017 title later this year.

"I am determined to finish on a high, wearing the red and black in the Farah Palmer Cup. I will also do all I can to earn my spot in the Black Ferns and fulfill my dream of playing in a Rugby World Cup on my home turf," she wrote.

"It has been my greatest honour to represent my club, my province and my country.

"I hope I have done you proud."

Cocksedge made her start in Taranaki before she earned her senior provincial debut with Canterbury in 2007 at age 19, having moved to the region to study at Lincoln University.

Kendra Cocksedge lines up a kick for Canterbury.

It didn't take long for international honours to follow with the halfback making her Black Ferns debut later that year in a 21-10 win over Australia in Wanganui.

Since then, she's amassed every single individual points scoring record for Canterbury and has won four Farah Palmer Cup Premierships and also holds multiple records for the Black Ferns including most Test points and most Test caps; the latter coming earlier this year when she surpassed longtime captain Fiao'o Fa'amausili.

Her impressive play saw her recognised as World Rugby Player of the Year in 2015 before she made history in 2018 when she became the first Black Fern to win Kelvin R Tremain Memorial trophy for New Zealand Rugby Player of the Year.

Cocksedge also had a stint in rugby sevens and was a member of the winning team of the Sevens World Series in 2013.

Her commitment to the game saw her recognised last year when she was appointed a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to rugby.

Now all that remains is a Farah Palmer Cup semi-final this weekend against Wellington, a potential final next week and one last campaign in black all at home with those closest there to witness it all.