Topic: Rugby

Fitting end to national All Blacks celebrations

By Raniera Harrison
  • Wellington

It's the last time one of the greatest All Blacks sides assembled today at the third and final national parade in Wellington.  A fitting end and send off for some of the greatest players ever to don the black jersey.

Captain Richie McCaw says, "It's great, love seeing people with a smile, and people who like seeing the team do well.  So it's awesome."

It's the final celebration for arguably the greatest All Blacks side ever.  Wellingtonian fans got their chance to meet their idols and welcome the William Webb Ellis Cup to the Capital.

This will be their last time ever together as a complete team.

Dan Carter said, "To think that we'll no longer be together, after an awesome couple of months.  But we've had a good time!"

There was even time to introduce William (Web Ellis Cup) to one of Wellington's favourite sons, the late Jerry Collins. 

Liam Messam described it as, "Emotional but all smiles, Skux shared a few stories, so nah it was good."

"He was a big part of this team for a long time, so it's a pretty cool thing to do," says McCaw.

It's estimated that in excess of 50,000 people turned out in Wellington for the final All Blacks national celebration.

It was a fitting send-off for two of the biggest departing names in Wellington.

Ma'a Nonu explained, "To end my All Black career here on this day is overwhelming and I'll never forget it especially being on the same truck as this guy here.  Midfield partner so we've been through a lot, but hopefully everyone's proud of us and thank you very much."

When another leader falls away, another rises to take their place.

Nehe Milner-Skudder says, "Two of the bros up the front there, they're getting a well-deserved send-off good to see getting behind this, it's crazy."

Prince Charles also made a special appearance.  But the All Blacks were the real royalty today.

Now for the world champions, return to your mountains, your people and your homes but always stand tall as an All Black.

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