Richie McCaw retires from rugby to pursue business interests

Richie McCaw is a director of eight companies, including Christchurch Helicopters.

All Blacks captain Richie McCaw has announced his retirement from all rugby, leaving the sport to take up a career as a commercial helicopter pilot.

Mr McCaw, 34, played a world record 148 tests including 111 as captain.

The openside flanker only lost 15 games as an All Black and is widely regarded as arguably the greatest ever rugby player.

His last test was the Rugby World Cup final win over Australia, his second world championship victory as All Blacks captain.

Mr McCaw, who is tipped to be offered a knighthood for his services to sport, is a keen aviator with a passion for gliding.

He has spent many hours gliding the world-famous air currents of Omarama, not far from where he grew up on a farm in the Hakataramea Valley in South Canterbury.

“I’m hanging up my boots having accomplished everything I could have ever dreamed about in the game,” Mr McCaw said at a press conference in Wellington today.

“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.”

McCaw said he would now be concentrating on his business, personal sponsorship and charity interests.

Mr McCaw earlier this year became a director of Christchurch Helicopters, which is involved in flight training, commercial and agricultural operations and scenic and charter flights.

“They are great people and I’m excited about the opportunities there,” he said, adding that he’s working toward getting his commercial pilot licence.

Mr McCaw is a director of seven other companies, two of which he shares with fellow All Black Dan Carter, who also played his last test for New Zealand at the World Cup.

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