New Zealand’s iconic Captain and most-capped player calls time on his illustrious career
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McCaw is the only skipper in history to lift two Rugby World Cup’s
New Zealand captain Richie McCaw’s phenomenal career is finally over after he confirmed his retirement from the game at a press conference in Wellington on Thursday.
The All Black skipper won 148 Test caps spanning over 14 years, which is the most number of Tests amassed by any player in rugby union history. His 131 wins are also a record. The 34-year-old also became the first skipper to lift the Webb Ellis on two occasions when New Zealand overcame Australia at Twickenham last month.
The announcement was not totally unexpected; the 34-year-old had hinted earlier this year that he would be hanging up his boots after the Rugby World Cup and admitted their success at the tournament was the perfect way for him to bow out.
“My last game was the World Cup final, so the end of something that has been a big part of my life,” he said.
“I made no secret this year was probably going to be my last, but deep down I didn’t want to shut the door totally. I was worried the emotion might get to me in a World Cup year, by leaving that door open it didn’t feel final until now.
“It has been a hell of a journey over the last 15 years. I’ve been privileged to do what I love for so long. Here’s to new adventures.”
McCaw said he had played some of his best rugby “in the last few weeks”, and All Blacks coach Steve Hansen agreed, saying the World Cup final was “one of his best games”.
“We will miss him, but he has to pick the right time to go, and he has done that,” said Hansen. “On the top of the heap.”
The flanker went on to say he had played some of his best rugby “in the last few weeks”, and All Blacks coach Steve Hansen agreed, saying the World Cup final was “one of his best games”.
“We will miss him but he has to pick the right time to go and he has done that,” said Hansen. “On the top of the heap.”
The news, expected for some time, comes 24 hours after the death of rugby icon and All Blacks legend winger Jonah Lomu.
“Today, I thought about whether it was the right thing to do,” said McCaw. “But I’m going to be hanging up my boots.”
“My thoughts and condolences go to his wife and two boys,” added McCaw, a former team-mate of the giant winger.
“When I became an All Black he was in the team. To play with him was amazing. I remember one of my first games, I climbed off the bus, and the mob came towards me and I thought ‘this is pretty cool, being an All Black’, but they kept going because they only wanted to be near to Jonah.
“There are a lot of people round the world hurting at the loss of a great man.”