33-year-old Read will join Japanese club Toyota Verblitz next year at the end of what will be his 13th season of professional rugby in New Zealand. He has played 118 Test matches to date since making his debut in November 2008.
The World Player of the Year in 2013 and a double RWC winner, Read was identified at a young age as a very good age-grade cricketer and rugby talent. He played in national schools and age-grade teams before making his provincial debut for Canterbury in 2006.
Read made his Super Rugby debut with the Crusaders in 2007 and his All Blacks Test debut in November 2008, and became the 66th All Blacks skipper when he led the team against Italy at Rome’s Olympic Stadium in 2012, and has captained the side 43 times.
The third Test match against the British amd Irish Lions in 2017 saw Read become the All Blacks’ seventh Test centurion. He has played 118 Tests to date and is currently the joint third most capped All Black (alongside Tony Woodcock). He has started 111 of his 118 Tests, and had just 14 losses in the black jersey for a winning percentage of 87 percent.
“Every young rugby player in New Zealand dreams of the opportunities I have had to represent the All Blacks and the Crusaders, and I know I’ll look back at the end of the year with a great deal of pride to have worn those jerseys for as long as I have,” Read said.
“My family and I are looking forward to an overseas experience and Japan presents an awesome opportunity to immerse ourselves in Japanese culture as part of the Toyota club.
“I feel the time is right to make this announcement on my playing future, so that I can focus my efforts on the season ahead.”