The 31-year-old Test centurion has announced he is set for a second stint with the Kobelco Steelers in Japan in 2024.
Now that his future is confirmed, the former World Rugby Player of the Year is putting everything into what will likely be his final season for the Gallagher Chiefs, with an eye on adding to his 100 All Blacks Test caps.
A journey that started in the North Canterbury town of Amberley has taken the Rugby World Cup winner to heights he could never have imagined.
“I would like to thank New Zealand Rugby and the All Blacks for the opportunity to represent them over the last 12 years,” said Retallick. “To play for the All Blacks is and has always been a privilege. The memories and friendships created by playing Test matches all around the world is indescribable and something I will treasure.
“This is still an exciting year ahead for me here in New Zealand and I would like to take the opportunity to thank the fans for their continued support.
“I would also like to thank the Chiefs for giving me the opportunity to represent them and the Waikato region. Coming from outside of the region to Hamilton in 2012 is a decision that has given my family and I endless memories and friendships, both on and off the field, that will last a lifetime.
“I also have to say a big thanks to everyone at Hawke’s Bay for giving me a shot in first-class rugby that led to everything I have experienced now.”
New Zealand Rugby CEO Mark Robinson added: “Brodie is an incredible All Black who should feel very proud of what he has achieved in his long and illustrious career in New Zealand.
“To play at the level that he has across multiple Rugby World Cup cycles is a credit to his professionalism and standards of excellence. We thank Brodie for his service and wish him and his family well for their adventure in Japan.”
All Blacks coach Ian Foster said: “Brodie is a special person who continues to contribute a massive amount to the All Blacks.
“I’m pleased he has been able to secure his next step in life. But I’m also fully confident that he will remain a hundred percent focused on what we need to achieve this year.”
The two-time Super Rugby champion is regarded as one of the finest lock forwards New Zealand has ever produced.
“Brodie is a truly outstanding player on the field in every respect – and one of the leading locks to play the game,” said Gallagher Chiefs coach Clayton McMillan. “More importantly off the field he has been a quiet leader and massive contributor to the development of our young players coming through.
“He stands for all the values that we hold dear here at the Chiefs Rugby Club and he is always going to be welcome here. We wish him and his family our best.”
While Retallick’s roots are in North Canterbury, where there is a street named after him, his first-class rugby career started in Hawke’s Bay during the 2010 NPC season.
“Congratulations to big Brodie on his outstanding career,” said Hawke’s Bay CEO Jay Campbell. “We are immensely proud of all he’s achieved - be it for Central Rugby and Sports, the Magpies, Chiefs, or the All Blacks.
“He has always been tough, relentless and uncompromising on the field. Away from it he is hard-working, loyal and humble. He encapsulates all the wonderful things about this great game.
“On behalf of the Hawke’s Bay rugby fraternity, we thank him for everything he has done for the game. We wish him, Niki and the kids all the best for the next exciting chapter and look forward to them returning to the Bay.”