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Last Updated: Saturday, 25 November 2006, 13:37 GMT
Kiwi trio call time after defeat
Ruben Wiki, Stacey Jones and Nigel Vagana
Wiki (left), Jones and Vagana have been key figures for the Kiwis
New Zealand stars Ruben Wiki, Stacey Jones and Nigel Vagana have announced their international retirements after the Tri-Nations defeat to Australia.

"I've had a great time and feel like I'm going out a winner. I'm very proud of the boys," said the 33-year-old Wiki, who was playing in his 54th Test.

Jones has made 46 appearances for the Kiwis while Vagana won 37 caps.

It is the second time Jones has quit internationals, having been coaxed back for last year's Tri-Nations Series.

Wiki added: "It's not about me. I'm just another player and everyone moves on.

"I've had a great ride and it's time for me to step aside and let the young guys take over.

It shows you the character of the Kiwi team that everyone kept fighting like they did

Brian McClennan
New Zealand coach

"We're one tight unit and I know New Zealand rugby league is in good hands."

New Zealand lost three players to injury during the course of the match and coach Brian McClennan saluted his side for the way they battled against adversity.

"It shows you the character of the Kiwi team that everyone kept fighting like they did," he said.

"We were pretty much out of petrol but everyone kept digging in. We were out there fighting for our lives.

"I feel like the boys deserve more for their efforts but you've got to acknowledge Australia and Darren Lockyer getting the winning try was kind of fitting for them."



SEE ALSO
Australia 16-12 New Zealand
25 Nov 06 |  International
Civoniceva savours Aussie revenge
25 Nov 06 |  International


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