Walsh hangs up whistle

Steve Walsh has retired from all forms of refereeing to pursue business interests.

The New Zealander officiated at four World Cups and in 56 Tests, which makes him the third most-capped international referee of all time

'I have lived my dream and I am truly grateful for every experience that I have had in rugby. It's been an incredible journey,' he said in a statement. 'I would be doing all of the key stakeholders in the game an injustice if I was unable to 100 percent channel my energies and devote my full attention towards refereeing Super Rugby and Test matches.'

Walsh switched allegiance to Australia in 2009 after a series of drink-related incidents led to him being sacked by the New Zealand Rugby Union.

'I will be forever indebted to Australian rugby for including me so openly following a difficult period for me personally,' he added. 'I would also like to acknowledge my time with New Zealand rugby. Their decision to end my contract in 2009 was challenging, but was ultimately the best thing that has ever happened in my life. It made me confront who I was and how I carried myself.'

Photo: Chris Ricco/BackpagePix

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