He made his name as an openside flanker, but All Black legend Richie McCaw is now a wing commander.

The two-time World Cup winner has been an honorary Royal New Zealand Air Force squadron leader since 2009, and has now been promoted to wing commander.

The new position was announced at a leadership forum at Ohakea. He was appointed by the chief of Air Force.

Richie McCaw has been appointed a wing commander in the Royal New Zealand Air Force.
Richie McCaw has been appointed a wing commander in the Royal New Zealand Air Force.

In a post on Facebook the Air Force said McCaw's career was built on the "very similar values that [New Zealand Defence Force] holds dear - courage, commitment and comradeship".

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Richie’s left the playing field behind for the air field! The man famous for his leadership skills on the rugby ground...

Posted by Royal New Zealand Air Force on Wednesday, 28 September 2016

The former All Black captain is a keen aviator, and upon announcing his retirement from rugby said he was keen to work towards getting his commercial pilot's licence.