All Black Richie McCaw has been awarded an honorary doctorate from Lincoln University more than a decade after he attended as a student.
McCaw received an honorary doctorate of "natural resources" at the university's graduation ceremony held today.
"To be honoured like this is pretty awesome," McCaw told ONE News.
The 30-year-old completed all but two papers of his four year Bachelor of Agricultural Science degree before rugby became his life.
"Having not quite graduated I copped a bit of stick from the family that all have, so it's nice to be at a graduation and receive a cap."
McCaw was the fourth generation of his family to attend Lincoln University.
His mother Margaret McCaw told ONE News it is "a big honour" for her son to receive the honorary doctorate.
The university said McCaw had achieved the highest distinction possible in his sport.
"We believe he represents such a tremendous standard for our students to aspire too," Vice-Chancellor Andrew West said.
McCaw was the first All Black to achieve 100 test caps and has been crowned international player of the year three times.
"It's pretty unreal to be honest it was years of hard work to achieve those things and I guess that's what the satisfaction is."
And last year he turned down the offer of a knighthood, after
being asked by the Prime Minister if he would like to receive a New
Year Honour following the All Blacks' World Cup win.
He is the second All Black captain to receive an honorary doctorate from Lincoln University. Sir Wilson Whineray was awarded the university's Bledisloe medal in 2006.
Technically he can call himself Dr Richie McCaw but he says he does not know if he will.
"I don't know, I haven't thought about that to be honest," he said.