New Zealand Rugby celebrates rugby heroes named in New Year Honours list

Getty Images     31 Dec 2015     Getty Images

Former All Blacks Captain Richie McCaw has been awarded New Zealand’s highest honour, appointed an Ordinary Member of the New Zealand Order (ONZ). He joins 18 other Ordinary Members of the Order.

NZR Chairman Brent Impey said it was a fantastic accolade for McCaw who had rightly earned himself a place as one of New Zealand’s most respected people.

“We are incredibly proud of Richie and what he has achieved for rugby and for New Zealand. He’s the embodiment of our vision for rugby to be a sport that unifies and inspires people. He has been an inspirational leader and an outstanding New Zealander. We congratulate him on this fantastic recognition.”

Daniel Carter and All Blacks Assistant Manager Gilbert Enoka were made Officers of the New Zealand Order of Merit (ONZM), while former All Blacks Keven Mealamu, Tony Woodcock, Ma’a Nonu and Conrad Smith and Forwards Coach Mike Cron were appointed Members of the New Zealand Order of Merit (MNZM).

“Dan, Keven, Tony, Ma’a and Conrad inspired a whole generation of young players during their time in the All Blacks and entertained rugby fans both here and overseas for many years and we congratulate them on their recognition.

“Gilbert and Mike, in their respective off-field roles, also provide outstanding leadership behind the scenes and we are delighted that they have been recognised as well.

“All of the rugby folk honoured today can be proud of what they have achieved as we are of them. These Honours recognise not only the important contributions they have made to the game, both on and off the field, but also their contributions to the wider community and we thank them for that.”

Brent Impey also paid tribute to two other rugby identities, former All Blacks Doctor John Mayhew, who was made an ONZM for services to sports medicine, and former leading rugby referee Colin Hawke, who was appointed an MNZM for his contribution to rugby.

“John and Colin are both worthy recipients of these honours and have made a significant contribution to our great game.”