Former All Blacks captain Kieran Read is amongst Kiwi sportspeople to be recognised in the Queen’s Birthday honours.
The 34-year-old a two-time Rugby World Cup winner becomes an Officer of the Order having retired last year after playing 128 tests for the All Blacks – 52 of them as captain.
Read described it as a “massive honour” and one his family were proud of.
“It’s right up there,” he said.
“You never expect these types of honours but I’m chuffed. [My parents have] always looked over my career and been a part of it for a long time, they got to as many matches as they could. It’s the wider community as well, it’s friends, your wider family who have taken a massive interest in what I’ve done, it’s a pretty big acknowledgement, so I’m very thankful for it.”
Full list of rugby figures to have been knighted
Rugby stars are sometimes recognised by the British crown for their services to the game – RUCK brings you all you need to know
Some of rugby’s biggest names have been recognised by the British monarchy for their services to the game.
Sir Clive Woodward and now Sir Bill Beaumont spring to mind when considering rugby icons who have been knighted, but there are plenty more.
There are also other honours bestowed upon individuals, such as CBEs, OBEs and MBEs, and many rugby players have also been recognised with those, though they are of a lower rank than those of the aforementioned individuals.
What are knighthoods?
Knighthoods are honours awarded to individuals by the sovereign of the United Kingdom in recognition of achievements in or services to a particular field.
Individuals are deemed to be ‘knighted’ when they are awarded a medal or badge which signifies that they have been given the title.
The Knight Grand Cross/Dame Grand Cross (GBE) is the highest honour of the chivalric order, followed by Knight Commander/Dame Commander (KBE/DBE). Those who have received these honours are free to take the title Sir or Dame.
Below GBE and KBE, in order, are Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (CBE), Officer of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (OBE) and Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (MBE).
Honorary knighthoods are awarded to citizens of countries where the British sovereign – in this case, the Queen – is not the head of state.