Israel Dagg has a stunning sidestep, safe pair of hands under the high ball and a powerful kicking boot that regularly creates space and options for his teammates, making him a real nuisance for any opposition trying to organise its defence.
Dagg has become a regular selection for the All Blacks after RWC 2011 but injuries limited his rugby in 2014 and 2015. He played three Tests in 2015 but was not selected for the RWC 2015 squad. After a lengthy recovery period following surgery on a dislocated shoulder suffered playing for Hawke's Bay, he returned in great form for the Crusaders in 2016 and earned a recall to the All Blacks.
He scored five tries at RWC 2011, including two each against Tonga and France in pool play. Dagg is also handy with the boot and can take over kicking duties, when required.
His call-up to the All Blacks in 2010 capped a remarkable representative career that has also included New Zealand Schools, New Zealand Under 19 and New Zealand Sevens.
He made an immediate impact on the international stage, scoring match winning tries against the Springboks in Wellington and Soweto.
He carried this remarkable form into the 2011 Investec Super Rugby season, scoring seven tries before injuring his quadricep.
Dagg hit the rugby headlines in 2006 when the 18-year-old became the first secondary school player to be selected for Hawke’s Bay since his teammate, former All Blacks halfback Danny Lee, first played for the province in 1994.
The Lindisfarne College old boy is an outstanding athlete, described in the 2006 New Zealand Rugby Almanack as a fullback with speed, skill and decision-making ability that belies his age. The respected publication also named him one of its five promising players for 2006.
Dagg has progressed through the Hawke’s Bay age grade ranks, representing the province at Under 16 and Under 19 level. He also attended the Sir Brian Lochore rugby camp for Under 17-year-olds in 2005.
An all-round sportsman, Dagg is a former Central Districts Under-17 cricket representative.
v Ireland at New Plymouth 12/06/10
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26t, 1c, 2p
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All Blacks, 2010-
All Blacks Sevens, 2007-08
New Zealand Under 19, 2007
New Zealand Schools, 2006