Source: All Blacks
World Cup winning All Blacks captain Richie McCaw has told Prime Minister John Key that now is not the right time to receive a Knighthood.
McCaw was nominated on the New Years Honour List, and although the decision to ultimately award any titles comes down to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, with the Governer-General handing out the awards within the Commonwealth Realms, it appears that Key's nomination may have been accepted.
Officially the list of the awards is published in the London Gazette on January 2.
Key, speaking to Radio Sport, must have known that perhaps the awarding of the knighthood to McCaw was a fait accompli, as he directly asked the All Blacks captain if he would receive it.
“In the end, the conclusion that he drew was that he would love to take it but now wasn't the right time,” Key said.
"He made the call that he's still in his playing career and it didn't feel quite right for him, that day where he's no longer on the pitch may be the right time for him.”
"(So) we didn't formally get to offer it to him in the sense that we knew if we offered it he wouldn't take it, but had he shown indication that he would've - then we certainly would've offered it to him, I certainly wanted him to take it."
Key felt McCaw’s decision would be respected by his peers and New Zealanders, but felt that one day he would become a Knight.
"I have no doubt if we're the government or whoever is the government at that point will go back and talk to him, but it won't be happening on January 1, 2012."