Where Are They Now: The Six All Blacks Who Left International Rugby After the 2015 Rugby World Cup - Ruck

Where Are They Now: The Six All Blacks Who Left International Rugby After the 2015 Rugby World Cup

The 2015 Rugby World Cup marked the end of an era for the All Blacks, and the rugby world as a whole.

It was a historic moment that signified a passing of the torch to the next wave of New Zealand stars, as six of the all time greatest players to ever pull on a black jersey, retired from their international duties.

Some of them continued to play at club level, and some even remain active to this day. In this article we will take a look at what the six generation-defining stars decided to do, after the international curtain call eight years ago.

  1. Richie McCaw

Where else to start but with the two-time Rugby World Cup winning captain. Arguably the greatest player of all time, McCaw steered the ship, for the All Blacks to retain the Web Ellis trophy on New Zealand’s home soil.

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LONDON, ENGLAND – OCTOBER 31: Richie McCaw of New Zealand lifts the trophy after victory during the 2015 Rugby World Cup Final match between New Zealand and Australia at Twickenham Stadium on October 31, 2015 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)

McCaw retired from all aspects of rugby after the final whistle, and ended his club career with the Crusaders. A passionate pilot and experienced glider, the former flanker became a shareholder and director at Christchurch Helicopters.

McCaw obtained his helicopter license in early 2016, and was involved in numerous rescue missions during the Kaikoura earthquake, which devastated New Zealand’s southern island. This man truly is a patron of his country!

CARDIFF, WALES – OCTOBER 17: Captain Richie McCaw of the New Zealand All Blacks leads his team off the field after victory in the 2015 Rugby World Cup Quarter Final match between New Zealand and France at the Millennium Stadium on October 17, 2015 in Cardiff, United Kingdom. (Photo by Richard Heathcote – World Rugby/World Rugby via Getty Images)

Despite turning down a knighthood during his playing career, McCaw was awarded ‘The Order of New Zealand’ in the 2016 New Years Honours. This honour surpassed the knighthood, as it is the highest award to be bestowed by the government to a New Zealander, with only 20 living people allowed the title at any given time.

In 2019, World Rugby inducted McCaw into the Hall of Fame, and with such a decorated career, and as the All Blacks most-capped player (148 appearances) it is clear to see why.

2. Dan Carter

Carter retired from the All Blacks as the all time leading international points scorer, with 1,598 points scored between 2003 and 2015, averaging an astonishing 14.26 points per game! England’s Jonny Wilkinson is second, yet still sits over 300 points adrift of the greatest fly half to ever play the game.

After the 2015 RWC, Carter continued his playing career for Racing 92 in France. There he successfully lead the Parisian club to the Top 14 league title in 2016.

The Heineken European Champions Cup elapsed Carter twice during his tenure in France, falling short in his first season, as Racing 92 lost to Saracens in the final. And again, as Leinster narrowly bested Carter’s side two years later, earning him a second silver medal.


Carter left France in 2018, and begun a new chapter as one of the first All Blacks to break new ground in Japan. The 41-year-old joined the Kobelco Steelers, and he found immediate success in the Japan Top League.

Carter led the Osaka Bay side to the 2018/19 league title, before returning to Racing 92 a brief return run.

AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND – JUNE 04: Dan Carter announces he is joining the Blues at Blues HQ on June 04, 2020 in Auckland, New Zealand. Carter is joining the Blues for the 2020 Super Rugby Aotearoa Competition as injury cover for Stephen Perofeta. (Photo by Hannah Peters/Getty Images)

Carter was called back to Paris, as their South African fly half Patrick Lambie was forced to retire after suffering multiple concussions. Carter remained with Racing 92 until the Covid-19 pandemic disrupted the 2019/20 Top 14 season, and he returned home to New Zealand.

The legendary All Blacks fly half then linked up with the Auckland Blues for the 2020 Super Rugby Aotearoa competition, yet did not make an on-field appearance. Carter enjoyed a more coaching-focussed role for the competition, before he announced his retirement through social media on February 20th 2021.