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Andy Ellis to retire from Super Rugby

NZN 15/05/2016

An All Blacks career that spanned nine seasons appears over for Crusaders halfback Andy Ellis, who will retire from Super Rugby this year.

The 32-year-old, who will bring up 150 games against the Waratahs in Christchurch on Friday, is effectively lowering the curtain on a Test career which collected 28 caps from 2006 to 2015.

He will continue to play in Japan, for the Kobelco Steelers, who he joined in 2014.

Before then, he wants to snare a third title with the Crusaders, who lead the current standings through 12 rounds.

"I don't really want it to end but I have thought my decision through carefully and it is really important to me that I finish on a high and while I am still loving it," Ellis said.

"I will give absolutely everything I've got to this team for the rest of the 2016 season and then leave here with no regrets."

Ellis was part of World Cup campaigns in 2007 and 2011 and came close to a third last year when he was handed Test appearances against Samoa and Argentina following a four-year hiatus.

He didn't get the final nod from coach Steve Hansen, who has previously described Ellis as an unlucky omission during his time in charge.

Ellis has barely missed a Crusaders game in 11 seasons, impressing from the outset with his skill and game management.

He is the third player to bring up 150 games for the team after front-rowers Wyatt Crockett and Corey Flynn.

Crusaders head coach Todd Blackadder, who also leaves at the end of the season, said Ellis will leave a notable legacy.

"Andy has such enormous character and such boundless energy that he makes a huge impact on those around him," Blackadder said.

"He has been an important leader in this group for a number of years now and has really helped to shape this team."

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