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McCaw awarded New Zealand’s highest honour

McCaw awarded New Zealand’s highest honour

Former All Blacks captain Richie McCaw was officially invested as a Member of the Order of New Zealand on Thursday.

“This is right up at the top, you can’t get any bigger than this, to be recognised in your country, it’s pretty cool."

Former All Blacks captain Richie McCaw was officially invested as a Member of the Order of New Zealand on Thursday.

The Order of New Zealand is the country's highest honour, limited to only 20 living New Zealanders.

And 35-year-old McCaw – who led his country to back-to-back World Cup wins culminating in victory over Australia at Twickenham in the 2015 World Cup final – is the youngest person to ever be appointed to the order.

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Governor-General Sir Jerry Mateparae acknowledged McCaw on the "way you've conducted yourself as a leader and a man".  

And McCaw – who retired as the most decorated player in the history of rugby after also beating the British & Irish Lions in 2005 – admitted this was the pinnacle.

“It’s recognition of the hard work you have put in to try and represent your country and that’s what I have done for a while.

“This is right up at the top, you can’t get any bigger than this to be recognised in your country, it’s pretty cool.

"Some of the words the Governor-General said were it wasn't just about the sport and I guess the way you conduct yourself off [the field] as well and something as a rugby team that's something I'm pretty proud, so you're not just good rugby players but good ambassadors for your country."

McCaw turned down a knighthood in 2011 after he won his first Rugby World Cup as All Blacks captain.

But after winning a second World Cup, then retiring from rugby he agreed to the national honour.

At 35, McCaw is the youngest on the list by three decades.

"Yeah it's a little bit embarrassing that isn't it, so yeah I have had some mates point that out to me,” he admitted. 
 

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