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Richie McCaw confirms his retirement

The Rugby World Cup champion has announced he will be retiring from rugby
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In a live announcement from Wellington today, All Blacks captain Richie McCaw confirmed that he would be retiring from rugby.

“I’m going to be hanging up my boots … it’s the end of my rugby days,” he said.

“I guess I made no secret at the start of this year that this day was going to be probable,” he continued, alluding to the widespread speculation that this would be his final year wearing the All Black jersey.

However, he admitted that deep down, he didn’t want to “shut the door totally” on his glittering sporting career, especially given the high emotions accompanying the team’s victorious World Cup bid.

“It didn’t feel final until, perhaps, right now.

“The one thing I’ve always prided myself on is being consistent with my performances,” he said, reflecting on his years on the field.

“On the whole, I’m pretty proud of being able to perform at a level that was reasonably good, and that’s something that I’ll always remember with a bit of pride.”

The announcement caps off a stellar career for the Kiwi rugby icon, whose last game as an All Black was the team’s nail-biting final against Australia for the Webb Ellis Cup. In total, Richie has played 148 Test matches, serving as All Black captain in 109 of these.

“It’s an end of a chapter but a start of a new one – but it’s been a hell of a ride,” Richie said.

“I don’t sit here sad, I actually sit here just happy with what I’ve done, the experiences I’ve had and looking forward to the future. “

As for just what that future would entail, Richie revealed a rather unexpected bit of news by announcing his intention to earn his commercial pilot’s licence. He initially learned to fly helicopters back in 2012.

“It’s something I’m passionate about and there are some good people involved,” he said.

Before he launched into his speech, Richie took time to pay his respects to All Black great Jonah Lomu, whose death was sadly announced yesterday. The entire room stood in silence to honour Jonah’s memory, and coach Steve Hansen had some words of tribute for the Kiwi icon as well.

Watch: Steven Hansen pays tribute to Jonah Lomu

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