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. [more]

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.

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".  

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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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