All Blacks champion Richie McCaw has announced his retirement from professional rugby.

McCaw made the announcement at New Zealand Rugby headquarters in Wellington on Thursday morning.

The 34-year-old is the world's most capped international, with 148 test for the All Blacks, captaining the side on 111 of those occasions.

He has also played 145 Super Rugby matches for the Crusaders since making his debut in 2001.

“I'm hanging up my boots having accomplished everything I could have ever dreamed about in the game,” McCaw said.

“Knowing that I was able to end my career by helping the All Blacks win the Rugby World Cup final is a hugely satisfying feeling.

“I am heavily involved in the Christchurch Helicopters company, they are great people and I'm excited about the opportunities there. Aviation is something I'm passionate about, I'm going to carry on flying and work towards getting my commercial pilot licence.”