Blues veteran James Parsons has announced his retirement from rugby on Thursday after a 13-year career.
The 34-year-old has called time on his career after receiving medical advice after being out of the game for several months from a head injury.
"Firstly, I want to thank NZ Rugby, the Blues, North Harbour Rugby and Takapuna Rugby Club for the opportunities they’ve afforded me," said Parsons. "For me, it’s not about sadness it’s about celebration.
"I’ve been very fortunate to represent my two home teams The Blues and North Harbour Rugby over a hundred times each which is a dream come true, and to play two tests for the All Blacks is something I’ll never forget.
“I’m extremely grateful to have been a part of these great teams and even more grateful to the people that fill them. To all the coaches, medical teams, staff, management and teammates I’ve had the privilege of working with over the years - my family and I thank you. Your guidance and support have been second-to-none and I couldn’t ask for a better bunch of people to go to work with every day.
Blues chief executive Andrew Hore paid tribute for the Blues and North Harbour centurion and he described him as a great teammate.
"Parsons is the sort of person every union wants and needs," Hore says. "He gave everything for his community, his teammates and his whanau. "He has been through so much, both on and off the field, at Harbour, some good times and challenges but he is someone you can always rely on, especially when times get tough."
"He is many things to the people that know him- a Harbour centurion, captain, club man, teammate, friend, family man and more recently a father. His contribution cannot be measured but I would like to acknowledge and thank JP on behalf of North Harbour Rugby. We wish him, Sam and his whanau every success in the future."