World Cup-winning All Black Israel Dagg knew it was time for him to pull the plug on his rugby career when he could hardly walk the day after trying to chase down a Crusaders teammate in training.
The 30-year old utility back announced his retirement on Friday, ending a career spanning 13 years and 66 tests, jokingly adding that his rapid weight gain had made the decision easier.
Dagg has battled a string of serious injuries, including to his shoulder and right knee, for a number of years before taking medical advice to hang up his boots.
"My knee's been pretty niggly for the last couple of years so it's been coming for a while. I'm just glad it's out there and I'm just very grateful to everyone for showing me the support and love…it's been going crazy," Dagg told The Hits Christchurch.
"It's just been bone on bone every time I run, kick …it's just constantly rubbing and bruising the bone. I had major surgery to get it fixed and I've just had to call it quits on the footy. And now I just have to worry about life."
Being unable to train at full tilt hasn't made things easier, Dagg joked.
"My arse is a bit bigger than it usually is…that's probably putting a lot of pressure on my knee as well as I can't really jog and run.
"I actually tried to run around with the [Crusaders] lads the other day and tried to chase Richie Mo'unga and the next day I couldn't really walk, so I made my decision."
Dagg made his debut as an 18-year-old for his Hawke's Bay provincial side in 2006 and played his first test four years later. He represented the Crusaders 89 times.
He was part of the victorious World Cup side in 2011 and claimed back-to-back Super Rugby championships with the Crusaders in 2017 and 2018.
Dagg revealed he nearly quit four years ago after failing to make the All Blacks squad for the 2015 World Cup.
"I just didn't enjoy the game. I remember thinking, 'I shouldn't be feeling like this. It's only a game'. Feeling down and unhappy," he said.
"And then I got injured, I dislocated my shoulder and I had six months away from the game. I came back and started playing again and that's probably the best moment [of his career]. Just finding that love for the game again.
"It is tough. I've got some great memories… rugby's given me everything. I've seen the world, played with the best players in the world, played in the best teams, so knowing that I'm not going to be stepping out on that field is pretty sad."