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Prolific Burrows retires from Test hockey

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 28/11/2016

Striker Phil Burrows says it is upsetting to call time on his record-breaking New Zealand international hockey career.

Burrows announced his retirement on Tuesday, ending a 17-year career which comprised 343 Tests, the most by any Kiwi.

The 36-year-old competed at four World Cups, four Commonwealth Games and three Olympics, although he failed to win selection for this year's Games in Rio.

Burrows' 150 goals is also the most by any Black Stick.

His retirement comes soon after those of Ryan Archibald (327 caps) and Dean Couzins (318), who are second and third on the all-time Test cap list.

"I wasn't really even thinking about it to be honest but I saw a few other guys retiring and thought it was a good time to do it," Burrows said.

"I'm pretty upset to let the international game go but am really liking the fact that I'm still involved in the game of hockey. I think I would've been a lot more upset if I'd had to give everything away."

Burrows is based in Melbourne where he still plays at club level but is becoming increasingly involved in coaching.

He was an assistant coach to Colin Batch when the Black Sticks contested a four-nations tournament in Melbourne last week, finishing runners-up to Australia.

The international travel and friendships forged will be Burrows' favoured Black Sticks memories.

On the field, he nominates two tournaments early in his career as memorable.

He scored four goals against Pakistan in the 2002 Commonwealth Games semi-final, which he described as a "massive highlight".

Two years later he was the team's top scorer with seven goals at the Athens Olympics where the Black Sticks exceeded expectations by finishing sixth.

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