Mealamu hints at post World Cup retirement

Veteran All Blacks hooker Keven Mealamu has claimed that he will make a big decision regarding his sporting future at the end of the year, following speculation he will bring his successful 15-year career to an end after the Rugby World Cup in England.

Keven_Mealamu6The 36-year-old will feature in his 175th and final ‘Super Rugby’ match against the Otago Highlanders soon, and is almost certain to be one of the key selections in the New Zealand squad chosen by boss Steve Hansen, for the nation’s World Cup defence later this year.

“In some ways it will be emotional to share my final Super Rugby game on Friday with my teammates, my friends and especially my family,” Mealamu declared in a statement made in recent weeks when the Blues confirmed their side for the match.

“I’ve been blessed to have been able to play in Super Rugby for 15 years, and this is certainly not the end of my rugby quite yet. I will make a final decision on that at the end of the year.”

This fixture at Eden Park will be the final one of the 2015 campaign for the three-time champions, who are currently last in the New Zealand conference following a run which has seen them secure just three victories.

“This has been a tough season for the Blues but we can go out on a good note knowing we have performed to our best,” the experienced hooker continued.

“We have some players leaving as well. So we owe it to them and to ourselves to be the best we can be both individually and collectively on Friday.”

Mealamu has won an impressive 124 caps for the All Blacks during a star studded career, and is one of only three centurions that are expected to hang up their boots following the conclusion of the World Cup, with prop Tony Woodcock and skipper Richie McCaw also declaring plans to retire.

The Canterbury Crusaders have already stated that they expected McCaw not to be with them next year, while the 137-cap flanker has also recently claimed that he was unlikely to seek a prestigious contract abroad in 2016.

In a massive show of respect, Blues hooker James Parsons has also chosen to drop himself to the bench for the upcoming fixture, making way for franchise veteran Mealamu to start in his last ever Super Rugby game, against the Highlanders, as he prepares to bow out before this year’s World Cup.

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