Monday, July 15, 2013

All Blacks Richie McCaw and Kieran Read say thanks to our 2 million Face...

Rugby: Richie McCaw's back

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Being friends with famous people

OPINION: Richie McCaw and I are pretty tight. Sure, it's been six years and when we met the other day he called me Hamish but, hey, that's nothing. When you are old friends, you let those minor mistakes slide.
I have actually spent a weekend with Richie McCaw. It was 2007 in Omarama in the middle of the South Island. Every day he went gliding for hours and hours and I waited on the ground with my camera crew drinking milkshakes.
I learned a few things that weekend.
The first is that Omarama has surprisingly good milk products considering the nearest cow is hundreds of kilometres away.
The second is that a glider can stay in the air for a really long time.
The third is never have a cooked breakfast before going in a helicopter. A helicopter is not a car; if you get motion sickness you can't open a window or pull over when you feel like having a spew. The pilot told me to take my shoe off and make full use of it. That's all you need to know about that.
Richie McCaw is pretty much as you see him on the telly. He's a genuine bloke, pretty relaxed and doesn't like a big fuss being made. While my camera crew and I stayed in Omarama's nicest hotel, he bunked down with his uncle in a caravan. Richie and I shared fish and chips one night on the bonnet of a car. It was great.
Richie's parents were there and they are the salt of the earth. I invited myself back to the McCaws' house in Canterbury last year and Mrs McCaw made scones. They were baked from premade scone mix but she told me that's what all the farmers' wives were doing these days. I wouldn't have known if she hadn't told me.
The McCaws are proud of their son, but also aware rugby isn't everything. Richie's mum hopes he gets right out of rugby when he's finished. I think he'll end up gliding and drinking milkshakes in Omarama.
In journalism you meet a few famous people. They are fleeting encounters you remember for a long time and they forget the moment you walk out the door. I had a massive man-crush on Ken Rutherford as a young man. He took me for a coffee, once. I was a sports reporter and he was selling his book. I could hardly say a word and definitely couldn't tell him I didn't like coffee.
I've also had my fair share of fame. My wife and I were once introduced over the PA to the crowd at halftime in a small-town ice hockey match in Canada. The locals were stunned we were honeymooning in Comox, population 2000. Look it up if you have a moment. It's like honeymooning in Huntly, but with a skifield.
I've also signed autographs for kids at primary schools. They thought I was Simon Dallow. I have quite a scribble so it will be many years till they figure it out.
Fame is funny.
We are a bit obsessed by it, but I think if you ever achieve it, it gets boring very quickly. I can attest to this; there's only so long you can be Simon Dallow before you start getting hand cramps from all the scribbling. I should really leave that job up to him.
- © Fairfax NZ News

Thursday, February 07, 2013

McCaw cheers school after tragedy



There were big smiles all round at Spotswood College yesterday as All Blacks captain Richie McCaw took time out of his holiday to visit the school.
Principal Mark Bowden said McCaw was there to talk to the school's senior students in the wake of last year's Paritutu tragedy.
In August last year Spotswood College students Stephen Kahukaka-Gedye and Felipe Melo, both 17, and their Taranaki Outdoor Pursuits and Education Centre instructor Bryce Jourdain, 42, drowned after being swept out to sea while climbing around Paritutu rock.
McCaw spoke to the families and friends of those lost before addressing the school's new set of leaders and senior class.
McCaw said while it was impossible to know what to say to the families, he was pleased to be able to offer what comfort and distraction he could.
"To be able to turn up and say hi and get a smile and a laugh and get their thoughts away from it for a while, I enjoy being able to do that."
He said the school had been through a tough few months and would no doubt still have more to come.
"I think just the fact that people take some time and show some support. There's people outside, they don't realise, whose thoughts are with them."
Mr Bowden said it was especially good to have McCaw visiting on the day the school's peer-support leaders for 2013 were heading off to a leadership training camp.
"We've got the number one sports leader in the country here and for him to share his thoughts and wisdom about leadership is absolutely fantastic."
Spotswood College head boy Tane Leong said it was inspiring to hear McCaw speak. "When he talks to us he's so genuine and he's just one of the people. It's great."
McCaw also presented the school with a cheque from Westpac for $1000.
Mr Bowden said the money, along with money donated by student councils from around the country would be put towards a Paritutu memorial.
The memorial will be revealed in a ceremony on December 8 this year, the anniversary of Stephen Kahukaka-Gedye's memorial service, he said.
Mr Bowden said he would be consulting with the whole school community about it.
The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment is expected to complete its report into the Paritutu tragedy and decide if any charges are to be laid by Friday.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Pizza with All Blacks Captain Richie is top of Kiwi Wish List

January 22nd, 2013

More than a quarter of Kiwis surveyed named rugby star Richie McCaw as the celebrity they would most like to have lunch with, followed by broadcaster Paul Henry and supermodel Rachel Hunter.
The Domino's Survey* about the lunchtime habits of New Zealanders found that nearly a third (34%) of workers will buy lunch as an occasional treat, with more than 3 out of ten (31%) willing to splurge and spend up to $20 when they do eat out.
Eating lunch el desko is not a popular option, with a third (35%) of workers admitting they can't wait to get away from their desks for a break come lunchtime, but close to the same number (36%) of Kiwis have worked through lunch during busy periods.
Almost half of respondents take 30 minutes for lunch before heading back to the grindstone, and around a fifth (20%) of workers will only take 15 minutes - the equivalent of a short break.
About one out of five (17%) of workers take a full hour whenever they can and 13% will try to drag out lunchtimes as long as possible.
When buying lunch, workers state that they prefer pizza and sushi, with most respondents saying they'd like to share their favourite slice with rugby star Richie McCaw.
More than half (56%) said they would choose pizza, followed by sushi at 33% and last night's leftovers nearly a quarter (24%). The least popular lunch options are a hot baguette, followed by a healthy salad.
Eight percent of those surveyed admitted to stealing their workmates lunch saying that if it was in the communal fridge it was fair game. A further quarter (25%) say the only thing holding them back is that none of their colleagues ever bring anything worth stealing!
Two thirds (66%) of workers think that a person's lunch is sacred and should be treated as such.
The celebrity most respondents would choose to share a pizza with was Richie McCaw (32%) this was followed by Paul Henry (23%) and Rachel Hunter (22%).
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Review : "The Open Side"

By: Mark Wilson | Tuesday, January 29, 2013

As tradition states each Christmas I receive a biography tailored for a Kiwi male. Its subject is generally a national or international sporting icon, tradition also dictates that I read this in one day, typically Boxing Day, as I laze around the holiday house in Manapouri. This is a nice addition to the usual fare of sock, undies, petrol vouchers, a few more inches around the waist and strands of grey hair.
I’ve had some real beauts in the past: Tim Shadbolt’s book was humourous, interesting, concerning and insightful all in one. Jeff Wilson’s a classic tale of a Southland Childhood I could relate to without any of the extraordinary sporting talents of he displayed;  Zinny was a very good read… I could go on, my shelves at the old family home at Otatara are full of legendary reads books from Sean Fitzpatrick, Jonah Lomu, Ian Jones, JK, Lance ‘EPO’ Armstrong, just to name a few.
Usually, I am riveted to these well-crafted life tales from some of society’s heroes.  However 2012 Christmas tree read was a little different. This is hard for me to say as I feel a little un-Kiwi even thinking it, but Richie McCaws biography The Openside was one I just couldn’t get into at all.
It started solidly, but I got bogged down in the chapters about the Crusaders, what else can you really say about this team we don’t already know, win win win, while stockpiling some most of New Zealand’s rugby talent and packing out national teams en route to a full trophy cabinet etc.
They have become the Auckland of the 80’s and 90’s with their excessive success breading disdain among some fans.
Personally, being a diehard Stags fan, I have never been a fan of the red and blacks in any level of the game and these chapters just lost me. I had to put the book down and have a week off to recover.
The story of the World Cup was interesting, but apart from a few more insights into the foot issue it didn’t really delve into anything I didn’t already know, only serving to reinforce the iron will of McCaw to represent his country and the desire of the All Blacks to break one of New Zealand’s most troublesome sporting hoodoo’s.
It really illustrates Richie’s legendary attitude to hard work, but was anyone ever in doubt of McCaw’s commitment to a cause and his almost un-human work ethic and focus?
The story about his notebook and the scrap of paper with his goals tucked up in his cupboard hidden from those who might judge and laugh as his heady aspirations was great fodder for the next generation of aspiring All Blacks and this along with the material on some of his early days as a club and school player was fresh news to me and perhaps the most interesting part of the book.
But I’m no longer an aspiring All Black, and those dreams along with being the ruler of the world and finding a wish granting leprechaun at the end of a rainbow evaporated well prior to puberty due to a lack of size and skill along a body prone to more breakdowns than a Twin Turbo Subaru Legacy, alas I had little use for this motivational segment.  
I did go back and finish the book and although I feel I know a little more about one of New Zealand’s all time rugby gods, I could have hit up Wikipedia for most of it.
There was no scandal, no entertaining tales of behind the scenes touring antics, no insight bar a few lines into the women in his life. Knowing Nicola Grieg I was interested to see what he thought of her Twitter debacle a few years back when they were close.
I got from some of my prior Christmas reads a real appreciation of the environment these special people in our sporting world operate in, not for its ability to build winners but for the memories and camaraderie garnished by those who operated within it.  With McCaw, there was none of this the book was a very clean and clear chronological look at his rugby career and how it pertained mainly to him, it was for lack of a better description boring and predictable.
Maybe this is a bit harsh or perhaps this is a side effect of greatness, Richie McCaw has given so much of his life to playing sport for his country that we know him so well already, maybe he just doesn’t feel like baring his deepest secrets in public, or maybe Richie’s life has been so filled up with Rugby there actually isn’t much else to report.
Whatever the reason, Richie McCaw’s book falls well short of his ability as a Rugby Player and left me hoping that he is far more existing in person outside of Rugby than the book would indicate. 
Maybe like Jeff and Jonah, we will be lucky enough to get a second book where Richie can let his hair down a bit more. 

Richie McCaw wants to see Zac Guildford 'sorted' VIDEO ARTICLE

Tue, 29 Jan 2013

All Black captain Richie McCaw is about to head off on a three-month holiday to the United States, but not before wishing Crusaders teammate Zac Guildford all the best in his battle with alcohol.
McCaw is still busy off the field, but he's ready for his first true break in more than a decade.
While the All Black skipper took time out with seven-year-old competition winner Sam Denize, it's his young teammate Guildford whom McCaw is hoping rises to the challenge he faces in his battle with the bottle.
“You know from a friend, a teammate's perspective, you want to see the guy get himself sorted.”
But McCaw agrees only Guildford can make the changes he needs too if the pacy winger is to make it over the line and avoid any further alcohol-fuelled incidents.
“But he's going to have to make sure he wants to do that and by the sound of things he's acknowledged that,” McCaw says. “And I certainly hope he gets things sorted because I want to see him back playing one day. But obviously he needs to change a few things first.”
Like Guildford, but for very different reasons, when McCaw will next lace up his boots is undecided. He may not see any action for the Crusaders with the Rugby Championship in August his main aim.
“Whether it’s Super Rugby or whether its club rugby leading up to that, I need to be back training in May and give myself a couple of months to get ready, and as we get closer work out the best way to do that.”
McCaw's happy to have signed up to a sabbatical, but he's not sure how he'll feel when Super Rugby starts next month.
“I think that's where it will feel a bit weird when you would normally be running out having to watch, so I’m aiming to head overseas for a while. So I might not see too much but it will be a bit bizarre.”
It might be bizarre, but ultimately beneficial with defending the World Cup in 2015 remaining the ultimate goal.

Wednesday, January 09, 2013

McCaw soars over home turf
 The Multi-Class National Gliding Championships in Omarama took off on Thursday and welcomed back a special club member.

All Blacks skipper Richie McCaw made time for his other love away from rugby, taking to the skies in a club craft.

Flying is in McCaw's DNA - his grandfather was a fighter pilot in World War II and his father, Don, is also a keen glider.

McCaw senior spent the afternoon in a tow-plane taking other pilots up while his famous son soared over the valleys, eventually gently touching down in the late afternoon.

The 32-year-old grew up 50km from Omarama at the family farm in the Hakataramea Valley and said he was pleased to be back and is intent on quenching his thirst for gliding over the coming weeks.

"I'm trying to get my fix of gliding time in January.

"It's always really nice to come back here for a few weeks," he said.

"It's a really nice community. Our family farm is close by so I look forward to coming back."

"My dad loves gliding and I've got a couple of cousins here too so it's been a lot of fun. Oamaru was the closest town (growing up) and it's a great area."

The Crusaders star hasn't entered his own personal glider in the competition but is sharing a club craft with four others in team Omarama.

Contest director Ralph Henderson said it was good to have the World Cup winner back.

"He's a good bloke and it's great to have him around.

"The family offer a lot.

"When Richie's here he's a glider pilot and a club member and he enjoys it like everybody else."

All 30 competitors made it around the course on Thursday but some tricky weather forced five competitors to land early on Friday, three in Wanaka and Pukaki, while two others turned back to Omarama prematurely.

The contest was rained off on Saturday but resumed yesterday.

Richie McCaw Interviews

 First video is available on YouTube

These 4 are only available on the