He is a player that could always be relied on
The New Zealand Rugby Union has paid tribute to All Black hooker Andrew Hore, who has announced he is retiring from the game.
The 83-Test veteran confirmed his last appearance in an All Blacks jersey was in the weekend's win over Ireland.
The 35-year-old Hore, who made his debut for the All Blacks in 2002 against England and has amassed 141 Super Rugby caps, will be taking up a new career as a farmer.
New Zealand Rugby Union Chief Executive Steve Tew thanked Hore for his contribution to the All Blacks and New Zealand rugby and wished him well for the future.
"Horey has had a great career with the All Blacks and served his country well," Tew said.
"He is a player that could always be relied on to give 110 per cent and a popular leader within the teams he played for. We congratulate him on his 83 All Blacks Tests and wider rugby career. He has made an immense contribution to the game.
"He is a strong, colourful and personable character who has worn the All Blacks jersey with real pride and been a great servant to the game. We will miss him and his laconic humour.
"We wish him well in his return to full time farming duties in the Maniototo."
All Black coach Steve Hansen congratulated Hore for his time in the All Blacks and said he fully understood his decision to call time on his professional career.
“He's been a real team asset throughout his 11-year career in the All Blacks, something that he carried through to the final Test of the year in Dublin," Hansen said.
"He was an absolute professional after a long season, delivering a typically determined performance in what was his last game in an All Blacks jersey."
Andrew Hore made his provincial debut in 1998 for Otago and his Super Rugby debut in 2001 for the Crusaders against the Chiefs.