Retiring McCaw ready for new career to take off


Richie McCaw is ready to soar to a new level by forging a career as a helicopter pilot after calling time on his illustrious rugby union playing days.

The New Zealand captain confirmed his retirement on Thursday, less than three weeks after inspiring the All Blacks to a second successive Rugby World Cup success.

McCaw has amassed a world record 148 caps for his country, the last of those coming in the 34-17 victory against Australia in the final at Twickenham.

The 34-year-old was hailed by New Zealand coach Steve Hansen as possibly the greatest player in the modern era.

And the legendary former Crusaders flanker is now relishing the challenge of getting his next career off the ground.

"I guess the question will be: what am I going to do from now? And there's a couple of things I've got in mind and one that hasn't just sort of come about overnight.

"I learnt to fly helicopters in 2012. And somebody might have seen over the last while I've been doing a little bit of that. I've got an opportunity to be part of Christchurch Helicopters -  a business in Christchurch.

"That's going to be my thing going forward, as, first of all becoming a commercial pilot with them and it's something I'm hugely passionate about. And, you know I'll never replace the thrill of running out in front of of 80,000 [spectators].

"But you know some of the things I've got to experience so far with it are not far short. So along with some sponsors commitments and stuff, I'm going to be hugely busy.

"But that's, I guess, something I'm going to do. It's something that I'm passionate about and there's some good people involved. I think that's key in what you do. So I'm really looking forward to the opportunity to do that.

"I think the one thing I want people to know is that I'm actually excited about what's in the future. I've enjoyed my time as a rugby player but I'm excited about what's coming forward, what's coming in the future."