Israel Dagg looking forward to more family time after hanging up his boots - 'I can be a bit of a handful at home'

Israel Dagg says he spoke to multiple parties before making the call to hang up his boots and he's at peace with his decision.

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Dagg said his "bad knee" has been getting worse over the last couple of years until he finally made the call. Source: 1 NEWS

Dagg fronted media after making the shock announcement this morning, saying injury was the reason he's decided to retire at 30.

"I've just got a bad knee really," he said.

"It was all going to end one day - a lot earlier than I thought but it is what is."

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Andy Ellis was invited into the Dagg's Christchurch home just days before the birth of their son. Source: Seven Sharp

Dagg said he got medical advice from doctors in January about his knee and they advised him to walk away from the game. He also spoke to staff from the Crusaders and New Zealand Rugby.

"The more I was playing on it the worse it got and I think it was just affecting me mentally.

"I wasn't able to do the things I was able to do and perform and when you're playing in the Crusaders or the All Blacks, you've got to perform and I felt like I wasn't doing that."

The other group he spoke had some of the biggest input though - his family.

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Little Arlo now has a baby sister to love - Tilly McKenzie. Source: Breakfast

"I can be a bit of a handful at home," Dagg joked.

"We made the decision as a family and I've just got think about number one which is my kids (Arlo and Tilly) and my wife (Daisy) and the best thing about it is I get to spend some quality time with them."

Dagg ends his career having played 66 Tests for the All Blacks over eight years, 89 matches for the Crusaders since 2011, 25 games for the Highlanders in 2009 and 2010, and 50 appearances for the Hawke's Bay Magpies.