All Blacks prop Wyatt Crockett retires from international rugby

Wyatt Crockett on the charge against the Springboks. Anthony Au-Yeung/Getty Images

All Blacks and Crusaders prop Wyatt Crockett has announced his retirement from international rugby and Super Rugby with 2018 to be his final season with the Crusaders.

The 35-year-old made his professional rugby debut in 2006 and quickly rose to become a Crusaders favourite. The most capped Super Rugby player of all time, Crockett ran out for his 13th season and his 188th Crusaders match on Saturday.

He played his 71st and final Test for the All Blacks against Wales in the All Blacks last Test of 2017.

Crockett made his announcement in an Instagram video on Tuesday morning thanking his fans and coaches for their support over the years.

"I want to thank everyone for their support over the years, from a seven or eight-year-old right through to now. All your support, coaches, supporters and everyone has been truly amazing."

In an open letter Crockett said he had been proud to wear the All Blacks jersey but after consultation with his wife had family he chose to step away from the game.

"It is never an easy thing to know when the time is right, but my family have made a number of sacrifices over the past 13 years which have allowed me to live out my dream. Now it's time for me to give back to them, simply by being there more than I have been able to as a professional rugby player," Crockett said.

"To all of the coaches, management, supporters and of course, my team mates over the years, thank you for your belief, support and friendship throughout my international and Super Rugby career."

Despite stepping away from international and Super Rugby, Crockett will continue to take the field, having signed a two-year deal to play for the Tasman Mako in the Mitre 10 Cup.

All Blacks coach Steve Hansen paid tribute to a player he described as a 'great servant of the game'.

"On behalf of the All Blacks, I want to thank 'Crocky' for everything he has done for the team, he's been a great servant of the game and definitely enhanced the jersey during his time in it.

"I'd also like to take the opportunity to thank his wife Jenna for the sacrifices the family made to allow him to be available to play the game for as long as he has.

"He leaves the All Blacks as a world-class front rower, senior professional and much-loved member of our squad. We're all incredibly proud of what he has achieved and we wish him and his family all the very best."