It would be "awkward" for Richie McCaw to be knighted while he was still playing, former All Black captain Sir Brian Lochore says.
Since lifting the William Webb Ellis Trophy on October 23 there have been calls for the All Black captain to be knighted, and now he may even receive the titular honour as early as New Year's Day, according a Fairfax Media report.
Sir Brian, who coached New Zealand to victory in the 1987 Rugby World Cup, told Radio New Zealand he was not surprised to hear McCaw is to be considered for next year's Queen's Birthday Honours List.
"He's a great New Zealander and he's really done well with the All Blacks," Sir Brian said.
"Sportsmen, like a lot of other people, if you've done something for your country extraordinary you should be recognised."
Sports people are usually knighted once they have retired, although there are exceptions, such as Sir Russell Coutts and Sir Richard Hadlee.
Sir Brian, who was knighted in 1999, said it was up to the individual.
"It would be quite awkward for [McCaw to be knighted] if he was still playing," he said.
"I don't think I would have felt comfortable, I probably still don't feel comfortable."
Sir Brian said McCaw would likely see the accolade as recognition of the team, not just himself.
There are also suggestions World Cup-winning All Black coach Graham Henry should also be knighted.
"I guess he is definitely in line," Sir Brian said.
"It depends on who is making the judgement calls.
"He's done a hell of a good job for New Zealand and we're all very proud of the team."