Richie McCaw reacts to Kieran Read's departure

Tanya Simon
March 8, 2019

It was announced on Wednesday that Crusaders number eight Read will end his All Blacks career after the Rugby World Cup and join Toyota Verblitz next year. He's developed into a fantastic leader, who has the utmost respect of all his peers.

The two-time World Cup victor knows it will be tough when the time comes to depart after so many years at the top with the All Blacks and Crusaders.

"What he has achieved has been remarkable, and it's fair to say that he is one of the greats of our game who has enhanced the legacy of not only the All Blacks jersey, but also the Crusaders jersey".

"He's been around for a while and I know his body has taken a good battering so from an global side of things to keep doing that he's obviously decided that the right time is this year and I guess the World Cup makes it an easy end point", McCaw said.

At the time, New Zealand were facing an exodus of talent, with the likes of McCaw, Dan Carter, Conrad Smith and Ma'a Nonu either retiring or moving overseas.

Before heading off for the Sept 20-Nov 2 event, Read will also hope to help the Canterbury Crusaders to a third successive Super Rugby title.

The New Zealand head coach labelled Ireland the best team in the world and World Cup favourites after that game, but Ireland have struggled to replicate that level of performance since then.

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Richie McCaw led the All Blacks to World Cup triumphs in 2011 and 2015.

"It was really a point of let's experience something different for our family, I guess in terms of Japan it's certainly closer to home than Europe".

The No 8 hinted that Japan would be his final World Cup after lengthy spells on the sidelines caused by a wrist injury and a bulging spinal disc and there had been speculation he could move to Europe.

Such is his value, he has been granted an extended off-season this year which won't end until at least round six of Super Rugby.

All Blacks blindside flanker Liam Squire has already announced he will play in Japan after the World Cup.

Ben Smith, Liam Squire and Nehe Milner-Skudder have already announced they will quit the worldwide scene after the tournament, along with long-time coach Steve Hansen.

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