McCaw: I've accomplished everything

2015-11-19 07:00
Richie McCaw (Gallo Images)

Cape Town - New Zealand loose forward Richie McCaw has confirmed he is hanging up his boots and retiring from professional rugby.

The 34-year-old All Blacks captain and most capped All Black of all time has drawn the curtain on his stunning international career which started in Dublin 14 years ago, almost to the day, and ended in London last month when he hoisted the Webb Ellis Cup aloft for the second time.

McCaw announced his decision at a media conference at the New Zealand Rugby offices in Wellington on Thursday.

"I'm hanging up my boots having accomplished everything I could have ever dreamed about in the game. Knowing that I was able to end my career by helping the All Blacks win the Rugby World Cup final is a hugely satisfying feeling," he told the All Blacks’ official website.

"Professional rugby has been great to me. It's allowed me to pursue my passion, to be involved with great people, hopefully make those close to me proud and travel the world. I've had some wonderful experiences for which I'm very grateful and I'd like to thank New Zealand Rugby for the opportunities they have given me.

"The support and encouragement from my family and friends has been huge throughout my career and I want to thank them. Mum and Dad haven't missed many of my games and I thank them, Gemma and the rest of my family for everything they have done.

"I've also been really fortunate to have had some great coaches and played with some outstanding players over the years, from my teenage years through to Canterbury, the Crusaders and the All Blacks. I'd like to thank them too for all they have done for me throughout my career.

"I'd also like to thank the fans who have supported me, both here and overseas. Your unwavering and passionate support for myself and the other players has always given us a huge lift, wherever we have played. We play the game to make you proud and I hope I have managed to do that over the years."

McCaw said he would now be concentrating on his business, personal sponsorship and charity interests.

"I am heavily involved in the Christchurch Helicopters company, they are great people and I'm excited about the opportunities there. Aviation is something I'm passionate about, I'm going to carry on flying and work towards getting my commercial pilot licence.

"The iSport Foundation charity, which I set up with Dan Carter and Ali Williams, also gives us the opportunity to help talented teenagers reach their potential in their chosen sport, which is a cool way for us to give back.

"I'm now really excited about starting the next chapter of my life. I'm looking forward to the future and what it may hold."

New Zealand Rugby Chief Executive Steve Tew has congratulated McCaw on his stellar career.

"Richie has been the most influential player of his generation, if not of all time. His playing statistics tell the story, but Richie has also made a very significant contribution off the field as well, in his decade-plus career in New Zealand rugby.

"He cares greatly about the whole game and everyone involved in it. As an example, he was involved heavily in the collective bargaining process on behalf of the country's professional players to ensure their interests were looked after. He's been a sounding board for numerous players, coaches, administrators and others involved in this great game of ours.

"We wish him well in his retirement and the next phase of his life and while he's hanging up his boots, we know he'll stay involved in rugby one way or another in the future."


Read more on:    all blacks  |  richie mccaw  |  rugby

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