Former New Zealand Captain Richie McCaw has been made a Member of the Order of New Zealand in the 2016 New Year Honours
McCaw was an All Black for 14 years and was the captain of the team for nine of those years
He led two Rugby World Cup-winning teams before announcing his retirement in November
Richie McCaw has been made a Member of the Order of New Zealand in the 2016 New Year Honours.
Rugby accolades are superlative and his popularity among New Zealanders is unprecedented, evidenced by repeated campaigns for the 35-year-old to be knighted.
He became the first Captain to lead a nation to two Rugby World Cups, and also the first to win back-to-back cups.
A humble McCaw continued to knock back suggestions of a knighthood, and today surpasses that with New Zealand’s highest honour.
“I’m still pretty young, so to have a title like that, I don’t know whether that’s the right thing just yet,” he told Seven Sharp’s Toni Street after returning from the World Cup.
Today, McCaw joins the likes of former prime minsters, an opera singer, architect, golfer and Olympic runner.
Membership is limited to a maximum of 20 living persons at one time and with McCaw’s entry to the list, just one spot remains vacant.
He will assume the appointment today on his 35th birthday, making him the youngest person to join the ranks by three decades, tailing former Prime Minster Helen Clark, 65.
The annual honours list is packed full of outgoing All Blacks, including Dan Carter (ONZM),Keven Mealamu, Ma’a Nonu, Conrad Smith and Tony Woodcock (MNZM).