Hayden Triggs to retire from rugby after coping with personal tragedy in final season

Hayden Triggs last played in New Zealand for North Harbour.

Hayden Triggs last played in New Zealand for North Harbour.

Hayden Triggs has confirmed his retirement from rugby after a 'stressful' season where the former Maori All Blacks lock had to cope with losing his three-week old baby daughter Stella.

Triggs, 35, had represented the Hurricanes, the Highlanders, the Chiefs and the Blues before joining Leinster in 2015.

"I'm finishing. I'm done, I'm retiring," Triggs told Sky Sports.

"I had a conversation with [Leinster coach] Leo [Cullen] at the start of this season and that was my plan from day one of this year.

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"It's given me focus and a clarity this year without having the stress and the worry of what's going to happen contractually for next year."

Triggs will retire when Leinster's campaign finishes, with the Irish club hosting the Scarlets in a Pro12 semi-final on Friday (Saturday NZ time).

He plans to take six to 12 months away from the game after describing his final season as a 'roller coaster' following Stella's death at Holles Street Hospital in Dublin last September.

Triggs thanked everyone for the support he, his wife Mikala and their two other children, August and Adelaide, had received.

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"The lows have been extremely low, more personally and for my family, and then there have been times where you are on a high and that also comes on a personal level with our kids that we still have and with my wife," Triggs added.

"I cannot speak highly enough of Leinster, I can't speak highly enough of the people of Dublin, especially the people around us and around the school.

"It will remain in our hearts forever and I guarantee we'll be back."

Triggs won nine Maori All Blacks caps since his debut in 2007 and played most notably for the Highlanders (2008-2010) and the Blues (2014-15) in Super Rugby.

He first played at provincial level for Manawatu in 2002 and won 70 caps for the Turbos, as well as representing Otago (2009-2010) and North Harbour (2014-15).

Triggs also spent time playing in Japan for the Honda Heat between 2011 and 2014.

 - Stuff


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