All Black World Cup winner Williams retires

All Black Rugby World Cup winner Ali Williams has announced that he will retire from playing rugby and plans to spend his time fishing and hunting.

The 33-year-old former New Zealand international lock joined European and French champions Toulon at the beginning of last season after a career spent with the Blues and Crusaders.

“I’ve enjoyed every day that I’ve played rugby and I’m still enjoying it to the end but my body’s said enough is enough,” said Williams.

“There’s huge motivation to go out on a winning note but like anything you can’t look to the prizes, you have to look to the processes for the next few months to try to get to the prizes.

“I can’t train during the week and you can’t commit to another season and let players down by not being able to train during the week. “

“Sometimes it’s hard to acknowledge that but sometimes it’s just one of those things and you have to walk away and enjoy what was 15 years of my life and I start again and do something else.

“What I will do I don’t know. Maybe my wife will work and I’ll go fishing. Or maybe not!

“Maybe a little bit of hunting, maybe a little bit of cooking.”

Williams won the Super Rugby title with the Blues in 2003 and the Crusaders in 2008 as well as the World Cup with New Zealand in 2011.

Since making his debut in a 31-28 defeat to England at Twickenham in November 2002, he made 77 test appearances for the All Blacks, scoring seven tries.

He thus becomes the third World Cup winner playing for Toulon to announce his retirement in the last year.

England legend Jonny Wilkinson and South African forward Danie Rossouw, World Cup winners in 2003 and 2007 respectively, quit the game following Toulon’s double last season.

South Africa lock Bakkies Botha has already retired internatioally but could take that to four if, as expected, he also decides to call it a day at the end of this season.

Another former New Zealand international, prop Carl Hayman, the current club captain, has already said he will retire at the season’s end while fellow former All Black back-rower Chris Masoe is rumoured to be considering quitting too.

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