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Keven Mealamu joins All Blacks exodus

Keven Mealamu confirmed he will retire following the Rugby World Cup, joining the list of stalwarts to depart the world champions.

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Keven Mealamu joins All Blacks exodus play

Keven Mealamu joins All Blacks exodus

(Omni Sports)

All Blacks hooker Keven Mealamu will retire after the Rugby World Cup, and bring to an end an international career spanning 14 years.

Mealamu, 36, will be hoping for a happier farewell from the international scene than he got in his Super Rugby finale - his Blues were thrashed 44-7 by the Highlanders at Eden Park.

The second-most capped All Black with 126 appearances, Mealamu will stay involved in rugby after his playing days end - as an ambassador for the sport in New Zealand.

"I've loved my time as a rugby player here in New Zealand and loved being part of all the teams I have represented, particularly the All Blacks," Mealamu said in a statement.

"While there's a little bit more I want to achieve this year before I hang up my boots, it's cool to know that I am going to be still involved in rugby in this new role.

"I'm grateful for the opportunity to support the game which I love and which has given me so much, and in my rugby ambassador role I look forward to giving back to the game, to the Auckland region, the wider community, and to New Zealand Rugby."

Richie McCaw (142 caps), Tony Woodcock (115), Dan Carter (106), Ma'a Nonu (97) and Conrad Smith (88) are all set to depart the international scene at the World Rugby showpiece in England.

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