Coronavirus: COVID-19 forces ex-All Black Andy Ellis into sudden retirement

To say Andy Ellis' rugby career swansong was abrupt would be an understatement.

When the Japanese Top League was suspended, due to coronavirus, Ellis was told to go home for a couple of weeks' stand-down.

"Two weeks after that, we were told it’s cancelled," Ellis told Newshub. "This was my last season and now I’m retired." 

Four years ago, Ellis had tears in his eyes, when he announced he was quitting the Crusaders and leaving for Japan.

And while he's been denied the chance to hang up his boots in style, Ellis is seeing the lighter side.

"I've been having a bit of a giggle with my old mate Dan Carter and he's in the same boat… he's retiring after the end of the season."

It draws the curtain on a career that included two Super Rugby championships and a Rugby World Cup title through 28 All Blacks caps and over 150 appearances for the Crusaders.

But something else Ellis has done well over those 16 years is set himself up for life after rugby.

Currently he's involved in a satellite internet and Wagyu beef business, but says he'll  use this lockdown period to reassess what he will do long term.

He encourages players at the opposite end of their careers to do the same, and believes there will be some definite positives to emerge from this challenging time.

"It's going to bring rugby internally in New Zealand together and it's going to make it strong," Ellis added. 

"A little bit more like it was in the old days."

He even thinks it might prolong careers in the long term, but his certainly won't be one.

"She's all done boys," Ellis laughed. "Enjoy retirement."

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