Kendra Cocksedge, the most capped Black Fern of all time, has announced today that she will retire from all rugby after Rugby World Cup 2021.
Cocksedge has had an unprecedented career in the black jersey, debuting in 2007 and going on to play a record 64 matches and scoring a record 382 points. In 2019 she became the first female player to win the Kelvin Tremain Memorial Trophy for Player of the Year and was awarded the MNZM for services to rugby in 2020.
She was recognised by World Rugby as the international Women's Player of the Year in 2015 and was named as part of the World Rugby Team of the Decade for the 2010s.
In a social media post, Cocksedge reflected on a 15-year career in the black jersey.
“I feel incredibly fortunate for the experiences rugby has given me. I’ve had more opportunities than I can count and have had incredible people alongside me who’ve inspired me to be my best every day.
She went on to say the task ahead of her over the next few months was a big one.
“I am determined to finish on a high, wearing the red and black in the Farah Palmer Cup. I will also do all I can to earn my spot in the Black Ferns and fulfil my dream of playing in a Rugby World Cup on my home turf,” said Cocksedge.
New Zealand Rugby CEO Mark Robinson commented on what has been an unparalleled career.
“Kendra is a legend of the game. Her success is without peer, and it is testament to her work ethic to have such an enduring career in the black jersey.
“She is widely respected on and off the field as a fierce competitor and genuine leader in the women’s game. While we are sad to see the end of her playing career, we know she is not lost to the game, and she will continue to have a positive impact in rugby for years to come.”
Cocksedge currently sits on 98 caps for Canterbury in the Farah Palmer Cup and will potentially become only the fourth women’s player to bring up 100 domestic matches if her team advances to next weekend's Final.
Canterbury Rugby CEO Tony Smail commented on the monumental impact Cocksedge has had in the region.
“We have been exceptionally lucky to have her pull on the red and black of Canterbury and given we know how much she loves a stat; we hope the final numbers play out in her favour and she gets to finish her time playing the game the way she wants.
“Canterbury is all the richer for Kendra’s time here and we wish her all the best in her endeavours, in whatever that may be,” said Smail.