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Richie McCaw: "I'm hanging up my boots"

Announcement calls time on rugby's longest, most successful career

McCaw's final match saw him lift the Rugby World Cup

CNN  — 

After 148 caps, arguably New Zealand’s finest player is calling time on a hugely successful career.

All Blacks captain Richie McCaw announced his retirement Thursday, bringing to an end a Test career spanning fourteen years – almost to the day – and boasting a phenomenal win-rate. His final match was the Rugby World Cup final at Twickenham in England, during which time he led New Zealand to victory over rival Australia 34-17.

“I’m hanging up my boots having accomplished everything I could have ever dreamed about in the game,” he said.

“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.”

Stellar career

Since beginning his international career with a win over Ireland on November 17, 2001, McCaw quickly rose to captain the side during one of his country’s most successful eras, culminating in victory in the recent World Cup final.

In a world-record Test career of 148 caps, McCaw’s All Blacks won an amazing 131 times, and the North Otago native led them to victory in the World Cup twice, first in Auckland and again in London.

Before the official announcement from New Zealand Rugby’s headquarters, he posted the news on Facebook.