Richie McCaw, 34, has announced his retirement after an iconic career in news that comes one day after the death of the legendary All Blacks winger Jonah Lomu.
McCaw has been one of the most influential players in the history of the sport and in his tally of 148 Tests, 131 are wins. The latest victory for the flanker, who is a three time World Player of the Year, came in the World Cup final last month against Australia.
“Today, I thought about whether it was the right thing to do,” the player said. “But I’m going to be hanging up my boots.”
The New Zealand captain led his side on to the park 110 times and that number and the wins total of 131 are both all time world records.
“It has been a hell of a journey over the last 15 years. I’ve been privileged to do what I love for so long. Here’s to new adventures,” said McCaw.
He added that he had played some of the best rugby of his career “in the last few weeks.”
All Blacks coach Steve Hansen said that the player had “one of his best games” in the World Cup final.
“We will miss him but he has to pick the right time to go and he has done that,” said Hansen. “On the top of the heap.”
New Zealand Rugby chief executive Steve Tew said, “Richie has been the most influential player of his generation, if not of all time.”