Retiring Joe Rokocoko takes to Instagram to say a fond final farewell

Former All Blacks winger Joe Rokocoko announced his retirement at the weekend, sharing a message on Instagram.

In the post, the 36-year-old shared photos of his entire rugby career, dating back to when he was a schoolboy and explained how rugby had taken him “from my very first club in Weymouth in 1994 through to my retirement 2019 from Racing 92 in Paris”.

The winger thanked all of those that have helped him throughout his career and said that he is “incredibly blessed to have been a part of some special teams and to have met so many special people along the way”. 

Despite his All Blacks career ending in 2010, Rokocoko continued to thrive in Europe with both Bayonne and Racing. Although his time in Test rugby was relatively short compared to some other stars, he is tied with Julian Savea and Christian Cullen in second place as his country’s top try scorer with 46 tries in 68 games. 

The Fijian-born winger burst onto the scene as a 20-year-old in 2003 and by the end of the year he had scored a world record 17 tries in 12 Test games. He was one of the most natural finishers the game had ever seen and had a staggering 25 tries in his first 20 games. 

Although he was on course to break multiple try-scoring record, his career may have slowed down slightly after the meteoric rise he had had and he notably missed out on the squad for the 2005 British and Irish Lions series. However, it is impossible to be the All Blacks’ second-highest try-scorer without being one of the greats of the game.