Romance Rewind: Richie and Gemma McCaw

Spy News,
Publish Date
Thursday, 8 November 2018, 10:31PM
Gemma and Richie McCaw. Photo / Norrie Montgomery
Gemma and Richie McCaw. Photo / Norrie Montgomery

Nearly six years after Richie McCaw first sent Gemma Flynn a Facebook message, the couple are getting ready to welcome their first baby.

We look back at this sporting match made in heaven.

January 2013 – Is she really going out with him?

Speculation swirled that New Zealand's most eligible bachelor, Richie McCaw, was dating then-22-year-old Black Sticks striker, Gemma Flynn.

The news came just one month after rumours Richie had been dating Emma Sayle, an English woman who organised posh sex parties.

Gemma eventually revealed in the 2016 documentary Chasing Great that Richie initially contacted her via Facebook, saying he was sorry she had lost a big hockey match and that he knew exactly what that feeling was like.

Gemma then made him wait two weeks – two weeks! – for a response. She said the message slipped her mind in the middle of a busy international hockey tour.

But when she did send Richie a message back, they were soon chatting. And the rest, as they say, is history.

Sometime in 2013 – Richie's kitchen skills fail to impress

Richie's first attempt at cooking a meal for his new love was memorable for all the wrong reasons.

In a 2016 interview with The Hits, Gemma revealed Richie hoped to impress her by serving up a rack of ribs that were "burnt and overhanging the plate". He served it with some classic sides of potatoes and “some iceberg lettuce with some grated cheddar on top”. 

The verdict?

"An A for effort."

2014 – Gemma moves in

After a year of dating, Gemma made the big move to Christchurch to live with Richie. (They eventually bought a $2.5 million five-bedroom home together.)

2015 – Richie retires

After leading the All Blacks to another World Cup title in 2015, Richie announced his retirement from rugby.


View this post on Instagram

WORLD CHAMPIONS 🏆 couldn't be happier for this amazing man #allblacks #backtoback #rwc2015

A post shared by Gemma McCaw (@gemflynn) on Oct 31, 2015 at 12:42pm PDT


But were babies already on the brain then?

During an interview with TVNZ's Jenny-May Clarkson at the New Zealand Rugby Awards soon after, Richie was asked when he might hear the pitter-patter of tiny feet.

"It's probably not my decision," Richie joked. "Gemma's the one still competing, so you might have to talk to her, to be honest."

January 2016 – Gemma says 'Yes!' to Richie

Richie didn't waste much time after hanging up his rugby boots, proposing to Gemma just a month later.

The couple shared their engagement news on Richie’s Facebook page.

"Happy New Year to everyone. I've had a fantastic start to 2016 and feel very lucky. Gemma said 'yes'! It's been great celebrating our engagement with friends and family in sunny central Otago."

Gemma then spent the rest of the year planning her wedding. (And preparing for the Rio Olympics. No biggie.)

November 2016 – Gemma says 'Maybe' to the dress

As part of her wedding preparations, Flynn travelled to Sydney to appear on reality TV show Say Yes To The Dress.

On the show, she said she had a budget of $8,000 and was looking for a classic, elegant dress with some wow factor.

After rejecting two dresses, Flynn found one she liked. But the most she was willing to commit to it was... "Maybe."

January 14, 2017 – The Big Day

Amidst an absolute media frenzy, Richie and Gemma wed at Wanaka's The Olive Grove, one year after getting engaged.


Gemma opted for a custom-made Anna Schimmel gown made of silk satin, paired with Valentino shoes and diamond earrings.

(And in case anyone was curious, Richie chose to wear a black Ermenegildo Zegna suit.)

October 2017 – Gemma hangs up her hockey stick

At the age of 27, Gemma announced her retirement from competitive hockey, saying she needed more time to focus on work and family.

July 27, 2018 – The family expands...

Gemma used her Instagram page to share some big news in July – the McCaw baby was on its way

"Rich and I are very excited to announce that we are expecting our first baby later this year," she wrote alongside a photo of three pairs of running shoes.

In another post, she added: "We really are looking forward to our best adventure yet."


View this post on Instagram

Lucky to have another chance to celebrate with our South Island friends and family this weekend 💕

A post shared by Gemma McCaw (@gemflynn) on Oct 7, 2018 at 12:58am PDT