Israel Jamahl Akuhata Dagg made his All Blacks debut on 12 June 2010 against Ireland in New Plymouth at aged 22. He started at fullback, with Cory Jane and Joe Rokocoko on the wing. Dagg shared his debutant honors alongside second five-eighth Benson Stanley and prop Ben Franks. Dagg made significant contributions and was rampant on the counter-attack, with the All Blacks coming away with a convincing 66-28 win.
QUICK TAP: TRIBUTES FLOW AS ISRAEL DAGG HANGS UP HIS BOOTS
Dagg’s first Test try was one to remember. It came against the Springboks in Wellington on 17 July 2010. He was injected into the Test match in the 63rd minute, replacing Rene Ranger and it resulted in a remarkable individual try. It began with his trademark goose step, he then proceeded to beat five defenders, including experienced loose forwards Pierre Spies and Schalk Burger to score in the left-hand corner. Dagg’s superb try contributed to the All Blacks 31-17 victory.
World Cup 2011
Dagg was a stand out at the 2011 Rugby World Cup. He scored five tries, including two each against Tonga and France in pool play. He started at fullback in that memorable final against France at Eden Park. After 24 years without the Cup, the pressure was certainly on the All Blacks at home in front of a crowd of more than 60,000. Dagg and New Zealand’s threatening backline didn’t get a lot of ball in the 8-7 triumph, with the forwards called upon to do a lot of the work up front. However, it was still an unforgettable moment for Dagg, and certainly a career highlight.
Resurgence in 2016
Dagg’s 2015 season was rocked by several niggling injuries, which forced him to miss selection for RWC 2015. Then while playing for Hawke’s Bay in the National Provincial Championship, he dislocated his shoulder and required a major operation. His shoulder injury kept him off the field for a lengthy period. But, Dagg returned to Super Rugby with the Crusaders in 2016 and had a blinder season. He earned an All Blacks recall for the Steinlager Series against Wales, where he opened the scoring in his first match back in a 36-22 win at Westpac Stadium. Dagg then backed up his Wellington performance, with another dazzling display in Dunedin. He showed his pace in an 82nd minute length-of-the-field try.
Towards the end of Dagg’s All Blacks career, the Hawke’s Bay and Crusaders fullback slotted onto the wing. He played 13 of his 66 Test matches in the number 14 jersey. Yarrow Stadium ended up being the venue where Dagg started and finished his All Blacks journey. He started on the right wing in his last Test match on 9 September 2017, in a 39-22 winning performance against Argentina. Dagg went onto score in his final match, picking up a difficult pass from Sonny Bill Williams, stepping two defenders to cross the line.
FULL NAME Israel Jamahl Akuhata Dagg
BORN Monday, 6 June 1988 in Marton, New Zealand
PHYSICAL 1.86m, 96kg
LAST SCHOOL Lindisfarne College
RUGBY CLUB (First made All Blacks from) Napier Pirates
PROVINCE Hawke's Bay
SUPER RUGBY TEAM Crusaders
ALL BLACK DEBUT Saturday, 12 June 2010
v Ireland at New Plymouth
aged 22 years, 6 days
LAST TEST Saturday, 9 September 2017
v Argentina at New Plymouth
aged 29 years, 95 days
ALL BLACK TESTS 66 (3 as a substitute) 66
STARTING POSITIONS Jersey Number 11 : 1
Jersey Number 14 : 13
Jersey Number 15 : 49
Jersey Number 22 : 3
ALL BLACK TEST POINTS 138pts (26t, 1c, 2p, 0dg)
ALL BLACK NUMBER 1101
??? "I love ya, you're a good man and a hell of a rugby player." - @CoryJane1080 pays tribute to @izzy_dagg.