http://www.stuff.co.nz/sport/rugby/all-blacks/5884880/It-could-be-Sir-Richie-McCaw-on-New-Years-Day BLAIR ENSOR 01/11/2011
Rugby World Cup-winning All Black captain Richie McCaw could be Sir Richie as early as New Year's Day.
The Dominion Post can reveal that McCaw has been nominated for a New Zealand royal honour.
It has been validated by the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet, which collates and presents all nominations.
The letter of confirmation obtained by The Dominion Post says the nomination will be considered for next year's Queen's Birthday Honours List.
However, Cabinet deputy secretary Michael Webster said the nomination could be brought forward to this year's New Year's Honours List depending on the "volume and nature" of the nominations the department received.
He was unable to discuss whether other All Blacks had been nominated or their coach, Graham Henry.
If McCaw receives a knighthood he will join a select group of sports people, who include Sir Richard Hadlee and Sir Russell Coutts, who have been honoured while still competing at the highest level.
Sir Richard, who was knighted during his final tour of England in 1990, said receiving the honour before he had retired from international cricket came "out of the blue" and was "really special".
"Normally it [a knighthood] comes many, many years after retirement when people can reflect on performances.
"It was a wonderful honour and a great compliment and with that goes responsibility."
Unlike McCaw there had been no suggestion of Sir Richard's knighthood by the public or media before it was awarded, he said.
"I was quite taken aback. I thought it was a practical joke from the lads."
The Dominion Post