Richie McCaw.
Richie McCaw. SMP Images - Bruce Palme

NZRU has McCaw for four more years

FOR the second time in a week, the New Zealand Rugby Union have their man.

All Black captain Richie McCaw announced today he has re-signed with the NZRU for another four years.

The 94-test veteran flanker and longest serving All Black captain joins first five-eighth Dan Carter in pledging his extended allegiance to the black jersey.

McCaw's contract is understood to have a number of clauses which would allow him time off or an ability to ease out of the All Blacks while playing Super or provincial rugby.

McCaw said: "I've always said that as long as I am enjoying playing footy in New Zealand then I will stay, and the fact is I still am, so I'm pleased to confirm that I have re-signed with the NZRU for four more years.

"I still have the hunger and desire to continue to play for the All Blacks and the Crusaders and there are still things I want to achieve as a player."

The new deal means both McCaw and Carter will be around to play at the 2015 World Cup in England, adding a potential 50-60 more matches to their test records over the next five international seasons.

McCaw first made his debut for the All Blacks against Ireland in 2001 and took over the permanent captaincy five years later. He has captained the All Blacks to 50 victories in 57 Tests.

Along with teammate Mils Muliaina he is the most capped All Black ever.

All Blacks Coach Graham Henry said: "I have said this many times before: I think Richie McCaw is the most influential player in world rugby right now. His on-field impact is immense, he's an outstanding player who leads and inspires others by his actions.

"Since taking over the captaincy, Richie has continued to develop as a leader and his personal standards, commitment and direction of others are inspirational to the All Blacks. He is a unique New Zealander," Henry added.

The 30-year-old's contribution has been immense and Sean Fitzpatrick, in his book Winning Ways which will be published next month, wishes he'd had the privilege of playing alongside McCaw. The flanker epitomised what was good about All Black rugby.

"It is not about avoiding confrontation or shying away from adversity. It is about creation, fierce and focused. It is about meeting challenge head-on, about winning," Fitzpatrick says.

McCaw is the current New Zealand Sportsman of the Year and has won the IRB's player of the year award three times in the past five years.

NZRU CEO Steve Tew said McCaw's rugby knowledge was invaluable, not only on the field but in the wider sense as well.

"Our game faces some real challenges and Richie's broader understanding of these and his commitment to the health of the game generally will be extremely important as we face those challenges."

Players recommitted to New Zealand rugby after this year's World Cup

McCaw, Carter, Keven Mealamu, Hika Elliot, Tony Woodcock, Ben Franks, Anthony Boric, Tom Donnelly, Sam Whitelock, Jerome Kaino, Kieran Read, Daniel Braid, Liam Messam, Victor Vito, Jimmy Cowan, Alby Mathewson, Colin Slade, Aaron Cruden, Conrad Smith, Benson Stanley, Israel Dagg and Ben Smith

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