He may have been a reluctant movie subject, but Richie McCaw has embraced the red carpet for Chasing Great's premiere at Auckland's Civic Theatre.

The big screen McCaw documentary was unveiled at a glitzy premiere this evening, featuring the rugby great himself, who attended with his fiancee, New Zealand hockey representative Gemma Flynn.

Filmed over his last year as All Black captain in the build up to the 2015 Rugby World Cup, Chasing Great is an intimate portrayal of McCaw featuring rare footage, candid interviews and behind-the-scenes moments.

Directors Michelle Walshe and Justin Pemberton recently told the Herald that McCaw was initially relucant to star in a feature film, but soon came around to the idea.


Despite filming him during intensely private moments, Walshe says McCaw never once asked for the cameras to be turned off.

"He gave us access to his friends, his family, his coaches, and told them all to say exactly what they wanted. He had no idea what they'd say [but] he understood this needed to be a story," says Walshe.

"He's been quite careful about keeping it about rugby for the last 15 years. When he does give you a little bit, it feels like a lot."

The film, which was edited down by Pemberton from 700 hours of footage, opens in theatres this Thursday.