25 May 2011

Richie McCaw to stay with NZRU

11:35 pm on 25 May 2011

All Blacks captain Richie McCaw has signed with the New Zealand Rugby Union for another four years.

The 30-year-old flanker says he his decision to sign with the NZRU until 2015 was based on not wanting to look back on his career with regret.

"I just didn't want to one day think that I'd left a bit early", he said. "I feel like I can contribute to playing New Zealand rugby, both the All Blacks and the Crusaders."

McCaw has played 94 tests for the All Blacks - a national record he shares with Mils Muliaina.

Last week, his Crusaders and All Blacks teammate Dan Carter committed to another four-year contract with the NZRU.

McCaw's agent Warren Alcock says like Carter, this contract is complex, but it has been important to recognise their differences.

The contract also includes a sabbatical offering McCaw an extended break from the game or to play overseas, however, he says he has not thought about the details yet.

All Blacks coach Graham Henry believes McCaw has plenty to offer.

"The big thing about Richie is, he's never satisfied with his game so he's always trying to get better.

"Although a lot of people judge him as being in the top echelon of No 7s, and probably the best in the world right now, he wants to be better than he is - that's hugely significant, I think."

Other players to stay

Richie McCaw is the latest in a large group of current and recent All Blacks who have recommitted to New Zealand rugby after this year's Rugby World Cup which begins in September.

They include hookers Keven Mealamu and Hikawera Elliot; props Tony Woodcock Ben Franks; locks Anthony Boric, Tom Donnelly and Sam Whitelock; loose forwards Jerome Kaino, Kieran Read, Daniel Braid, Liam Messam and Victor Vito and backs Jimmy Cowan, Alby Mathewson, Dan Carter, Colin Slade, Aaron Cruden, Conrad Smith, Benson Stanley, Israel Dagg and Ben Smith.