Rugby World Cup: Black Ferns icon Kendra Cocksedge prepares to sign off as one of New Zealand's all-time greats

She's New Zealand's most-capped women's player, and arguably the Black Ferns' greatest, but Kendra Cocksedge has announced her impending retirement.

The veteran halfback on Friday revealed she'll hang up her boots after this year's home World Cup. 

And while there's still plenty of games to play, and potentially some silverware to lift, she's already reflecting on how far the game has come.

Kendra Cocksedge.
Kendra Cocksedge. Photo credit: Image - Photosport

Cocksedge had to convince her teammates she's now walking into the next phase of her life.

"Some of them, I don't think believed me," she said.

They'll have to now though. The 34-year-old will hang up the boots after this year's home World Cup.

It's a decision years in the making.

"I actually thought about it in 2017, that I was going to retire after the World Cup," Cocksedge continued.

"People were saying how crazy I was. So I continued to play, and have probably played my best footy over the last few years."

It's hard to argue with. A trailblazer in every sense of the word, Cocksedge has been at the heart of change in the women's game.

In 2018, she became the first female to win New Zealand Rugby's top award, the Kelvin R Tremain Memorial Player of the Year. She's seen the Black Ferns go from amateurs to professionals.

"We used to have one or two tests a year. Now the Black Ferns are going to get seven, eight, nine tests a year.

"That's why I had to make sure I was ready to retire as well. There's just going to be a massive growth in that space."

So much so that it's now seen as a viable career choice.

"All I could urge to any young girl who wants to go through and do it, is be patient."

With 64 matches and 382 points already to her name, she's not done yet.

"Nothing goes past winning a World Cup with a team."

And there could still be one more to come.