TODAY |

Former captains Kieran Read, Kayla Whitelock recognised in Queen's Birthday Honours

Former All Blacks captain Kieran Read's achievements have been recognised as part of the Queen's Birthday Honours list, named an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit.

Kieran Read. Source: Photosport

Read, 34, is recognised for his services to rugby in New Zealand, having retired from Test duty after last year's Rugby World Cup in Japan.

He played 128 Tests for the All Blacks, the third most capped player in New Zealand history, 52 of those as captain. Read was also involved in the 2011 and 2015 Rugby World Cup victories.

Away from rugby, Read has also worked as an ambassador the Child Cancer Foundation for the past decade, as well as also serving as an ambassador for the Yellow-Eyed Penguin Trust from 2011 to 2017.

Kayla Whitelock celebrates after Kelsey Smith scored NZ's first goal during the Women's Pool A Match against Spain. Source: Getty

Elsewhere, former Black Sticks women's captain Kayla Whitelock (formerly Sharland) has also seen her career recognised, named as a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit.

Whitelock, 34, represented the Black Sticks women at four Olympic Games, including as captain at the 2012 games in London and the 2016 games in Rio de Janeiro.

Amassing 255 caps for the New Zealand women's side, Whitelock is the second-most capped Black Stick in history, and this year came out of retirement in the hope of another Olympic tilt at Tokyo 2020 - before Covid-19 saw the games postponed.

Whitelock also attended three Commonwealth Games, where she won two medals - silver in 2014 in Glasgow, and bronze in Delhi 2010.

Off the field, Whitelock has also dedicated many hours towards serving the hockey community as a volunteer, mentoring the next generation of Kiwi girls in the sport.