All Black Richie McCaw has turned down a knighthood, Prime Minister John Key says.
He told Radio Sport that he had asked McCaw about receiving a New Year Honour.
"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 was deadly serious in making the offer, which is bestowed by the Queen.
"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," Key said.
He says there was no formal offer made in the end.
"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."
Richie McCaw's mana is likely to grow as a result of this decision. We have no doubt that he will be knighted at some point, and not just for his RWC-winning captaincy. He has been an outstanding leader of the All Blacks, but with a life away from the sport as well.
So on the first of January, we reckon that it's highly likely that we will be commenting on a knighthood for Graham Henry, and in McCaw's absence, we hope the HRH Queen Elizabeth II might also recognise the other bloke in the photograph below; Michael James "Jock" Bowie Hobbs; former All Black captain, Chairman of the NZRU, saviour of the All Blacks (along with Sir Brian Lochore) when big money beckoned in 1995, and the man who was instrumental in securing the RWC2011 tournament for New Zealand. A knighthood would indeed be a fitting accolade for Jock Hobbs, so how about it Your Majesty?