Richie McCaw in the skies of Paris: Behind the scenes of Operation Commando

Richie McCaw in the skies of Paris: Behind the scenes of Operation Commando

Arriving the day before the Oscars at the Midi Olympique, Richie McCaw couldn’t calm down. Thanks to the Air and Space Force, the former Ol Black treated himself with a helicopter flight over Paris. a novel.

White shirt, black pants, the actor’s smile. Richie McCaw arrived on the evening of the World Champions Captains’ day as a banquet for the All Blacks after the game. On Sunday, October 22nd, the double world champion took part in a unique encounter with John Smit, Martin Johnson or John Ailes, in Suite 435 of the Hôtel Le Fouquets-Barrière. Also a chance to find the Webb-Ellis Cup, worn by the same captain for the only time in its history. Entrees by Monday when it should have been Macau on all fronts. First in the morning, the man in the 148 black jerseys shared his experiences as a former player and business manager with Thierry Desautier, accompanied by Frank Mesnell, Eden Park’s head of clothing brand and former international, and Daniel Drian. , Director of Communications, Marketing and Partnerships at GMF, the historical sponsor of the 15th Exposition of France.

A new uniform approved by the person who has given up the straps to take charge of a helicopter-related service company (training, tourism, etc.). A two-hour show with his unfortunate victim in 2011 and his 2007 flogging. The agenda then accelerated for Richie McCaw, who changed hands after posing for a sweet family photo in front of Le Fouquet’s-Barrière, to hop in a cab. Direction of Air Force Base 107 in Villakoplay. The shirt awaits the evening, giving way to jeans and a zip-up jacket.

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Stars in the eyes of the military

New Zealand is a young country compared to France. In Paris you really feel the power of history and places. » In the black van leaving rue George V for the southwest of Ile-de-France, Richie McCaw recreated his experimental memories as he contemplated Haussmannian buildings. ” I started flying in 2002 and got my license in 2009. My father was a pilot and I got into this world very early in my life. I loved traveling with him so much that when I started making money from rugby, I paid for a pilot’s license. I have become addicted! “,” Remember the legend of New Zealand.

Once out of the traffic jams of Paris, the sky began to cloud, but the former crusader remained confident to keep his journey. The experienced pilot has seen others. ” You’ve already driven in the rain or in difficult conditions… It’s New Zealand you know! The weather is very fickle. More seriously, what I seek in this practice is freedom. In a helicopter, you can land on any mountain or in the residents’ park (laughs)! It is a truly unique experience to fly among the landscapes of New Zealand.” The former captain laughs.

Despite twenty years of experience in the skies, Richie McCaw was only making his second trip outside his homeland, after a first experience over Marseille. After forty minutes spent on the roads of Ile-de-France, Villacoplay Air Base 107 finally appeared in the darkness and wind on Monday, October 23. On Program First, visit the building before meeting up with five members of the base, most of whom have played in XV Pacific, a rugby team made up of players from overseas territories. Led by Maliko Saliga, a civilian fuel delivery man, these guys didn’t have enough words to describe the arrival of the world’s holy rugby monster.

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“It’s huge… I had to join the army to find out (laughs)!” Someone jokes, he is afraid of the profession of an unusual visitor. “It is a symbol of rugby. For those of us who come from the Pacific, she is more than just a character. It embodies the highest values ​​of the sport,” Sliga owners develop. Wearing an island necklace around his neck, McCaw left the basic briefing room to listen to his program in front of a map of Paris. Stade de France, Versailles, Eiffel Tower … The landmarks of the City of Light had to be overlooked by another monument, from New Zealand. A khaki jacket on the shoulders, and a seat belt curved at the hips, a McCaw pilot behind Captain Sylvain climbed into an AS555 Fennec helicopter, a helicopter that provides security missions in the capital’s skies. The sun was pointing at the tip of his nose, and Ol Black flew away to enjoy a one-of-a-kind experience.

Paris in the air

The door was open the entire trip, and Richie McCaw felt as comfortable in the sky as in the past. After an hour of air escape, the double world champion returned to the mainland with a wide smile. ” It was an incredible experience, as I was able to see all the monuments from the sky. I have already had the opportunity to fly this type of aircraft, but I must say that I was in good hands (laughs), ” Says the New Zealander looks at Captain Sylvan.

“For a rugby player like me, trained in Agen, it is a great pleasure to have Richie McCaw in the helicopter. We are still talking about the two-time world champion so it is impressive. But after that, he was pretty much relaxed during the flight, you can tell It’s regular!” Says the person who is still coach of FC Salles in the Bordeaux region. Popular with the staff on the helipad, the former Blacks captain played a big family photo game before heading back to the black van. Dark circles began to define the face of the previous version and fatigue swallowed the legs of the eternal crusader.

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The five o’clock hand had just passed and the Maori’s eyelids were getting heavier and heavier. Back at Le Fouquet’s-Barrière, many McCaw fans jumped for joy at the sight of their idol, with an impromptu autograph session. This final mission accomplished, the most famous figure of Number 7 was to finally return to his room to fall asleep and fight against the 11 hour time difference with the Long White Cloud Country. A brief moment of respite since Richie McCaw was expected to attend the Medi-Olympic Awards two hours later. Among the shimmering walls of Gabriel’s Pavilion, the New Zealand icon found herself in the company of Kolisi, Dusautoir or Pienaar. After two intense days, he finished his marathon as he had begun it: among the captains, in the French manner.

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