The new owner of rugby great Richie McCaw's old house has stumbled across a hoard of medals and honours left behind by the former All Black.

Christchurch wedding celebrant Gillian Smith bought McCaw's St Albans home in December last year.

McCaw and then-fiancee Gemma snapped up a $2.5m family home in an upmarket part of Christchurch around the same time.

The stash of forgotten memorabilia included an invite to Buckingham Palace, a medal marking a rugby game in Wembley Stadium, a piece of greenstone in a Rugby World Cup 2011 presentation case and a circular object apparently related to Willie Apiata's Victoria Cross, Fairfax reported.


Smith told Fairfax McCaw had left the items behind and said she wanted to return them, but refused to comment further.

"I'm going to ring him up and get them back to him," she said.

McCaw received the Buckingham palace invite in 2015 for playing in the Rugby World Cup.

The exclusive reception hosted by the Queen and Prince Harry was attended by about 400 guests, including players, officials and supporters of the Rugby World Cup.

At the time McCaw said the visit added an extra boost to the anticipation and feeling surrounding the tournament.

Willie Apiata has a history with the All Blacks, sitting in as they prepared for the 2015 World Cup semifinal in Twickenham and spending time with the team since the victorious 2011 tournament.

McCaw said Apiata was a "special New Zealander".

"He's a good man to have around and the boys enjoy hearing his stories and calming words."