Rugby World Cup 2015: Richie McCaw hints at retirement plans

New Zealand captain insists he is not considering a move to France and doesn't expect to be playing rugby in 2016

Richie McCaw has talked up the possibility of his retirement after this year’s Rugby World Cup in England.

Speaking to reporters in Christchurch on Thursday, the 34-year-old All Blacks captain played down reports linking him with a move to France in 2016.

Honestly, I haven’t made any final decisions…probably the likelihood is I am not going to be playing next year

Richie McCaw

With a changing of the guard expected after the Rugby World Cup, many of the defending champions have already secured lucrative moves to France’s Top 14.

Centres Conrad Smith and Ma’a Nonu have agreed to join Pau and Toulon, respectively, while outside-half Dan Carter will join Parisian club Racing Metro to replace Leinster-bound Johnny Sexton.

“Honestly, I haven’t made any final decisions,” he said.

“Probably the likelihood is I am not going to be playing next year,” McCaw said.

“I am not looking overseas and nothing has changed there.

“But I don’t want to be getting carried away now, talking about those sorts of things when I am focusing on playing.

“I want to really enjoy this year but, as I say, that’s the likelihood and I don’t want to make any big announcements because I don’t think that would be right going into a season.”

At least two All Blacks will also join England’s Aviva Premiership after the Rugby World Cup, with prop Ben Franks agreeing a move to London Irish and lock Jeremy Thrush set to join Gloucester Rugby.

All Blacks head coach Steve Hansen has already signed a new deal to remain in charge of international rugby’s premier side and the management have asked their star players to determine their future long before they begin their preparations for their Rugby Championship and Rugby World Cup title defences.

Highlanders centre Malakai Fekitoa agreed a new two-year deal this week with New Zealand Rugby until after the British and Irish Lions tour of New Zealand in 2017.

MORE: Guinness PRO12: Benetton Treviso and Italy flanker Simone Favaro excited to join Glasgow Warriors

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MORE: Six Nations 2015: Scottish Rugby Union set to appeal Finn Russell’s ban for dangerous tackle on Dan Biggar

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