All Blacks captain Richie McCaw announces retirement

Richie McCaw and Dan Carter with the William Webb Ellis trophy.
Richie McCaw and Dan Carter with the William Webb Ellis trophy. Getty Images

RICHIE McCaw has today 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 said.

"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."

"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."

Topics:  editors picks jonah lomu richie mccaw

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