Super Rugby winner forced to retire
NEWS: Former Highlanders flank Shane Christie has retired due to ongoing issues suffered from a concussion during the 2016 season.
Christie earned his first contract with the Tasman Makos, after four years of club rugby in Nelson. His form at National Provincial Cup for Tasman over two seasons put him in the frame for the Crusaders, where he debuted in 2013. After just one appearance, he headed south to take an opportunity with the Highlanders where he was part of the 2015 Super Rugby champion team.
The highlight of his career he says came when he captained Tasman to Premiership promotion in the 2013 NPC Championship final.
"It was amazing at Trafalgar Park. Hawkes Bay had the kick to win at the end and our supporters group were just giving it to him [Ihaia West]. I could hear them over my shoulder and he shanked it. Those 60 fans won that game for us. That was a real highlight,'" he said.
The 32-year-old missed the 2017 Super Rugby and NPC seasons due to the injury and missed out on a playing contract for 2018. He will move into a coaching role with the Makos, alongside Leon MacDonald and Andrew Goodman as the forwards coach.
I'm excited to have the opportunity and to be there with Leon [MacDonald] who has been with the Mako for eight years and Andrew Goodman who I played with for a couple of seasons. It’s awesome to move onto another phase with someone I played with and are good mates with," he said.
We've been in three finals and have lost them all but hopefully, we’ve learnt from that. I'm really excited about the team we have this year and what we can achieve."
He played for Tasman 76 times and earned 30 Super Rugby caps, with 29 at the Highlanders. He also played eight times for the Maori All Blacks and appeared for the New Zealand sevens team.