22 Jul 2008

Jono Gibbes retires from rugby

12:39 pm on 22 July 2008

Chiefs and Waikato lock Jono Gibbes has announced his retirement from all rugby.

The 31-year-old has succumbed to an ongoing injury to his left knee and has reached a point where he is unable to continue in a playing capacity.

Gibbes says it's a hard thing to come to terms with because his heart is still in the game, but the simple truth is that his knee is no longer up to it.

Gibbes, a former All Black and New Zealand Maori representative, says his decision to retire was the right thing to do from a personal and team perspective.

Gibbes' memorable matches include the 2006 Waikato Air New Zealand Cup championship victory, the New Zealand Maori victory over the Lions at Waikato Stadium in 2005, the Chiefs victory over the Sharks in Durban in 2004.

Victories aside, Gibbes also vividly remembers the loss of the Ranfurly Shield to Canterbury in Gibbes' first year at the old Rugby Park.

Te Awamutu-raised Gibbes made his All Blacks debut in June 2004 against England in Dunedin.

He played a total of eight Test matches for New Zealand.