Key Points:

All Blacks, Chiefs and Waikato lock Keith Robinson has today announced his retirement from all rugby.

Robinson, 30, said his left knee simply could not sustain any more rugby campaigns.

"The decision to retire was an easy one because of the injury, but the hard part will be getting used to the fact I won't be playing rugby again," he said.

"I'd love to keep playing, but sadly injury has put a stop to that. I'm at the stage now with my knee that I would not be able to be managed through a campaign."

Despite a top flight career ravaged by a succession of injuries - most recently a calf strain limited his involvement during World Cup year - the abrasive second rower said he would carry many happy memories into retirement.

"I've had some great moments in my career. Every debut match for the teams I have been part of are special memories for me, and there have been some other great games," he said.

Robinson selected his All Blacks debut against England at Twickenham in 2002, Waikato winning the last year's provincial championship and the Chiefs beating the Crusaders in the final round of the Super 14 in April among his career highlights.

Robinson, who developed a gym in his home town of Te Aroha during a lengthy rehabilitation from a back injury in 2004, will now focus on that business though he did not rule staying involved in the game in some capacity.

New Zealand Rugby Union deputy chief executive Steve Tew led the tributes saying: "Keith has shown true grit and determination throughout his career and the way he returned from serious injury showed the real character of the man.

"He played the game with real fire and passion and he will be missed by rugby fans the world over. We wish him all the best for the future."

Waikato Rugby Union chief executive Graham Bowen added: "His presence on the rugby field will be missed by his supporters.

"It's a great shame injury has put an end to such a successful career."

After his test debut, Robinson managed just 11 more caps over five years as a catalogue of injuries took its toll.

His last test was in Cardiff this month, when the All Blacks were eliminated from the World Cup by France at the quarterfinal stage.

Robinson played 20 games for Thames Valley and 20 for Taranaki before making his Waikato debut in 2002.

He played 29 times for the province and tallied 42 games for the Chiefs.

- NZPA