Shock retirement announcement from rugby sevens star Gayle Broughton

Gayle Broughton scores a try under pressure from Jade Ulutule of Team France in the Women's Gold Medal match between Team New Zealand and Team France at the Tokyo Olympics.

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Gayle Broughton scores a try under pressure from Jade Ulutule of Team France in the Women’s Gold Medal match between Team New Zealand and Team France at the Tokyo Olympics.

COMMUNITY SPORTS: Southern, Taranaki and New Zealand sevens star Gayle Broughton has called time on her international rugby career.

The 25-year-old announced on social media she will step down from the Black Ferns and will move to Australia with her family.

After a nine-year career in the sport, Broughton said she thanks everyone who has played a part on her journey.

“Firstly, thanks to those who have this 16-year-old Hawera kid an opportunity of a lifetime,” she said.

Broughton, who was named co-winner along with Michaela Blyde, of the Taranaki Daily News Person of the Year for 2021 for their sporting achievements, made her debut in the black jersey in 2014 at the age of 18.

Broughton, right, with fellow Taranaki teammate Michaela Blyde, with their Tokyo Olympic gold medals.

MARK TAYLOR/Stuff

Broughton, right, with fellow Taranaki teammate Michaela Blyde, with their Tokyo Olympic gold medals.

She scored 315 points in 112 World Series matches and has won every trophy on offer in the sevens game.

Her list of accolades includes six World Rugby Sevens series titles, Olympic Games gold and silver medals, Commonwealth Games gold and Rugby World Cup Sevens winner.

Broughton scored the match-winning try in extra-time during the Tokyo Olympic semi-final to see the team progress through and win the gold medal match.

She had brief stints for the Taranaki Whio around her sevens commitments. She stamped her mark on Taranaki’s first even Farah Palmer Cup win in 2020 by scoring a stellar try during the 32-29 win against North Harbor in Inglewood.

Broughton was selected with Blyde for the New Zealand Sevens team in 2014.

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Broughton was selected with Blyde for the New Zealand Sevens team in 2014.

After achieving all she could on the international sevens stage, Broughton said the decision was very hard.

“But the never-ending love from the Black Ferns Sevens whanau has taught me it was the right time. You taught me that I am more than just a rugby player, that through life I must be courageous and most of all to never stop being me,” she said.

“This game has taught me so much on and off the field, who knows what’s next, but I am extremely excited to see where this journey takes me.”

Black Ferns sevens coach Cory Sweeney said the entire sevens program is proud of Broughton.

He said when she joined, she came from challenges and watched her grow into a “extremely talented rugby player and an even better person.”

“We are so proud of her and while for now she is going in a different direction, she will always be a big part of the legacy that is the Black Ferns sevens.

“She goes with our blessing and knows she is always a part of our whanau, and the door is always open,” Sweeney added.

– This content has been brought to you by Sports News Taranaki.

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