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Richie McCaw has today confirmed he
is hanging up his boots and retiring from
The 34-year-old All Blacks captain and
most capped All Black of all time has drawn
the curtain on his stunning international
career which started in Dublin 14 years ago,
almost to the day, and ended in London last
month when he hoisted the Webb Ellis Cup
aloft for the second time.
McCaw announced his decision at a media
conference at the New Zealand Rugby
offices in Wellington today.
“I ’m hanging up my boots having
accomplished everything I could have ever
dreamed about in the game. 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,” he said.
“Professional rugby has been great to me.
It’s allowed me to pursue my passion, to
be involved with great people, hopefully
make those close to me proud and travel the
world. I ’ve had some wonderful experiences
for which I’m very grateful and I’d like
to thank New Zealand Rugby for the
opportunities they have given me.”
“I ’d also like to thank the fans who have
supported me, both here and overseas.
Your unwavering and passionate support
for myself and the other players has always
given us a huge lift, wherever we have
played. We play the game to make you
proud and I hope I have managed to do that
over the years. ”
McCaw said he would now be
concentrating on his business, personal
sponsorship and charity interests.
“I am heavily involved in the Christchurch
Helicopters company, they are great people
and I’m excited about the opportunities
there. Aviation is something I’m passionate
about, I’m going to carry on flying and work
towards getting my commercial pilot licence.
“The iSport Foundation charity, which I
set up with Dan Carter and Ali Williams,
also gives us the opportunity to help
talented teenagers reach their potential in
their chosen sport, which is a cool way for us
to give back.
“I ’m now really excited about starting the
next chapter of my life. I ’m looking for ward
to the future and what it may hold. ”
All Blacks coach Steve Hansen
remembered a young McCaw turning up to
the Canterbury academy.
He was good at “pinching the ball” but
“couldn’t catch, couldn’t pass and couldn’t
“ But he had a massive desire to be good,”
McCaw said he’d love to be involved in
the game in the future. He never considered
taking up a professional contract overseas
after his international days were over.
“ For whatever reason I’ve always said if
I felt like I could play professional rugby,
I want to play here because I love playing
“Going to play rugby just because you
want to earn a fat cheque, it just didn’t spin
Hansen remembered seeing McCaw play
for the first time in a schoolboy match at
He told Steve Tew, then in charge of
Canterbury rugby, to sign him.
But he was from Otago and the two
unions had an agreement not to poach each
other’s players. But then Otago stole one
and Canterbury swooped.
McCaw said he wasn’t sure if he should go
ahead with today ’s announcement, given the
news about Lomu.
“ I didn’t think we’d get it right either way
really. The last thing I wanted was to be
disrespect(ful) or anything to do with that.
“ It was a chance, a chance to acknowledge
and pass our sympathies on to his family
McCaw said Lomu was a giant of the
game and was probably bigger overseas than
He was a great man and great All Black,
— New Zealand Herald
Thursday, November 19, 2015
PICTURE: Getty Images
The late Jonah Lomu and members of the Ngati Ranana London Maori Club perform a haka in London’s Covent Garden in
September before the start of the 2015 Rugby Union World Cup.
All Black Ma’a Nonu is
visiting Jonah Lomu’s home
in Epsom this morning to pay
his respects, alongside other
friends and family of the rugby
Two pink camellia blossoms
sit in the driveway of the tree
lined property in Auckland, a
day after his death, aged 40.
Lomu, a husband and father,
suffered a cardiac arrest shortly
after returning from a post-
world cup break with his
family in D ubai and died at
home yesterday morning.
Since then a stream of
visitors has come and gone —
including former All Blacks
Michael Jones, Eroni Clarke
and Ofisa Junior Tonu’u — to
pay tribute to their former
team-mate and his family.
Many brought flowers
and wore dark clothing, and
gathered to farewell a silver
hearse as it left the property
yesterday afternoon. A woman
carrying bags filled with loaves
of bread and a carton of eggs
was dropped off at the home
Funeral plans were still being
determined, a spokesman for
the Church of the Latter Day
Saints which Lomu and his
wife are members of, said. No
date has been set for the send-
off at this stage but it is likely
to be held at an LDS Church
New Zealand Rugby Football
Union spokesman Mike
Jaspers said it was too early to
say if the union would have
any involvement in the funeral
Amid Lomu’s much
publicised illness, The Hits
presenter Grant Kereama
donated a kidney to him in
This morning Kereama and
fellow presenter Polly Gillespie
aired an emotional message
to listeners as they mourned
the death of their close friend.
In a recorded message, the
pair explained why they were
absent from their show.
Kereama said: “Hope you
guys understand, eh? I really
Gillespie said the pair were
not in a position to be on the
radio this morning.
“I think you know that when
something really affects you
and there’s something really
important, there are no words
and there’s no way to go on
and even speak to your very
best friends without being
really emotional,” she said.
“ We have lost one of our best
friends. Today we will not be at
work. I hope you understand.”
Tributes to Lomu have
continued to pour in from
around the world.
One of the men who
made Lomu famous, former
English full back Mike Catt,
remembered a “freak of nature”
who set the rugby world on
It was Catt who Lomu
stepped over as television
commentator Keith Quinn
memorably stumbled over his
words: “Lomu... oh... oh....
“ When Jonah came running
at me I’m thinking, ‘right,
get your feet close, I want to
drive through the player’.”
Unfortunately all I remember
is him scoring the try behind
me,” Catt recalled of the 1995
world cup semi final, where
Lomu’s four tries led the All
Blacks to victory over England.
“For me to be making a
tackle, he’s obviously run
through 14 blokes to get to me
as the last man of defence.”
Catt blamed English captain
Will Carling for Lomu
running over him.
Lomu was off balance after
Carling ankle tapped him.
“That ’s probably the reason
he’s running straight over the
top of me, because otherwise
he would have just run around
me like he did three times
Lomu made his debut for
the All Blacks against France
in 1994. Both games were lost
and Lomu was cast aside until
the world cup the following
His first All Black captain
Sean Fitzpatrick told Newstalk
ZB this morning Lomu was
not originally part of the team
plan at the cup, but an injury
to Eric Rush gave him his
“Little did we know we were
going to have a 19.5 stone,
6.5ft winger. He was just a
revelation. He broke the mould
about what rugby players
should do,” Fitzpatrick said.
“The legacy he created was
basically done in the space of
about five or six games really.”
But that never changed him.
“He was the most wonderful
person, very gracious, very
humble. He was almost
embarrassed by the adulation
he received after 1995.
“I can honestly say we never
had any issues with him
thinking he was bigger than
the team. I think that says so
much about the person. He
was a good man.”
Fitzpatrick fondly recalled
Lomu leading non-playing
members of the historic 1996
touring team to South Africa
in a victory haka, as a weary
All Blacks beat the Springboks
in a series at home for the first
All Blacks star skipper Richie
McCaw paid his tribute last
night on social media, saying
he could not believe the sad
news of Lomu’s passing.
“Jonah was an incredible
rugby player and a top bloke.
My thoughts are with his
family. Rest in peace mate,”
McCaw wrote on Facebook.
Lomu publicly revealed he
was battling kidney disease in
His coach at the Auckland
Blues at the time, Graham
Henry, said today he had
no idea the big man was
“ We always questioned his
fitness — when I was coaching
him in ‘96, ‘97, we didn’t know
anything about the kidney
problem. So we did a 3km run
as part of the fitness test in
those days and he was always
last,” Henry told TV3 this
“We always had to try and
get a mate to run beside him to
push him along. And I didn’t
find this totally acceptable So
But we found out (about his
In a statement yesterday,
Lomu’s wife Nadene said it
was a “traumatic time” for her
family, especially the couple’s
young sons, Brayley, 6, and
“It is with great sadness that
I must announce my dear
husband Jonah Lomu died last
night. As you can imagine this
is a devastating loss for our
Mrs Lomu requested privacy
for herself and children, but
other family members spoke
about their loss.
Nehoa Lomu first heard
about his younger brother’s
death on the radio, and said
their mother, Hepi, was upset
“ like any mother would be”.
“ What happened, happened.
But we are very proud of my
brother and what he did for
New Zealand and also Tonga.”
This morning Lomu’s cousin
Mataiasi Lomu has posted
a tribute, saying the name
“Lomu” would give his family
“As I keep on with my day
knowing that I knew Jonah.
Not as the rugby player, nor
as the left winger, nor the one
to wear #11. But as my cousin
and brother to me, his siblings
and the rest of my cousins
who carry the name Lomu,” he
wrote on Facebook.
Lomu’s first wife Tanya
Michaels — formerly Tanya
Rutter — said his death left
her “lost for words. May his
soul rest in peace. A bit lost
for words at the moment but
when I am ready and have
gathered all my thoughts I will
have pay a tribute to him and
his family!!! Love Tanz,” she
said in a brief Facebook post.
New Zealand Rugby chief
executive Steve Tew said it was
an “incredibly sad day ” and
organisation was working to
support Lomu’s loved ones.
“There’s a lot now to
obviously work through but we
should reflect on the amazing
contribution Jonah made.”
Former long-time All
Blacks doctor John ‘Doc’
Mayhew told the Herald that
Lomu’s well-known kidney
issues would inevitably have
contributed to his heart
Dr Mayhew said people
with chronic kidney disease
had a higher chance of heart
of the New Zealand Herald
Laura Langman made it a clean sweep of
the top prizes at the inaugural Netball New
Zealand Awards in Auckland last night.
The star midcourter, who has not missed a
game for the Ferns since making her debut
in 2005, is fittingly the first player to receive
the Dame Lois Muir supreme award — an
honour introduced this year to recognise
New Zealand’s top netballer.
It capped off a big night for Langman, who
was also crowned the New Zealand ANZ
Championship player of the year and the
Silver Ferns players of the year.
The awards, which were held at the
Auckland War Memorial Museum, were
introduced this year to honour outstanding
contributions across all levels of the sport.
Silver Ferns midcourter Kayla Cullen was
voted the fan favourite, taking home the
Woman’s Day People’s Choice following a
breakout season in the black dress. Cullen
returned from a knee reconstruction, to make
the wing defence bib her own during the
World Cup in Sydney.
Netball fans also voted for the Silver Ferns
victory over the Australian Diamonds in
pool play at NWC2015 as their Sky Sport
moment of the year.
Silver Ferns trialist and Southern Steel
midcourter Gina Crampton capped off an
impressive year, picking up the Aspiring
Silver Fern award.
Magic coach Julie Fitzgerald was named the
ANZ Championship coach of the year after
leading her young side to the New Zealand
Silver Ferns skipper Casey Kopua also had
plenty of reason to celebrate after announcing
she is pregnant with her first child. The star
defender has withdrawn from selection for
the 2016 Silver Ferns squad, however she
is not yet ruling out making a return to the
Kopua, 30, made a stunning return to
the court in May following a serious knee
injury to lead the Silver Ferns at the Netball
World Cup in Sydney, and in last month’s
Constellation Cup series against Australia.
Kopua had already been granted extended
leave by Netball New Zealand until the end
of January, however the pregnancy will now
rule her out for the majority of the 2016
“It is an exciting time for (husband) Terry
and I; we are looking for ward to becoming
parents for the first time and to start this next
chapter in our lives,” Kopua said.
The Awards. — Dame Lois Muir Supreme
Award: Laura Langman; Silver Ferns Player
of the Year: Laura Langman; Woman’s Day
People’s Choice: Kayla Cullen; SKY Sport
moment of the year: Silver Ferns victory
over Australia in Pool Play at NWC2015;
NZ ANZ Championship player of the
year: Laura Langman, Northern Mystics;
NZ ANZ Championship coach of the year:
Julie Fitzgerald, WBOP Magic; NZ ANZ
Championship umpire of the year: Jono
Bredin; National coach of the year: Te Aroha
Keenan; National umpire of the year: Gareth
Fowler; Aspiring Silver Fern, presented by
New World: Gina Crampton; Outstanding
Contribution to Netball by a Technical
Official: Margaret Marsh; Secondary Schools
Player of the Year: Mila Reuelu-Buchanan,
Wellington East Girls College; Volunteer of
the Year - Coach: Peter McInnes; Volunteer
of the Year - Official: Therese Dixon;
Volunteer of the Year - Administrator: Gwen
Matchitt; Volunteer of the Year - Youth:
Tributes pour in for Lomu
PICTURE: NZ Herald
Laura Langman wins the Dame Lois Muir Supreme Award at the New Zealand
Netball Awards in Auckland last night.
Langman cleans up at awards
Richie calls it quits
Richie McCaw announcing his retirement today in Wellington.
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