John Key says iconic three-way handshake not his fault

Former Prime Minister John Key has spoken out about his infamous three-way handshake, claiming on Tuesday night it was not his fault.

In 2011, just after the Webb Ellis Cup was presented to then-All Blacks' captain Richie McCaw after an 8-7 win in the final against France, an embarrassing three-way handshake was broadcast to the world.

The handshake was between Former Prime Minister John Key, Sir Richie McCaw, and International Rugby Board chairman Bernard Lapasset.

Mr Key and McCaw appeared on Seven Sharp last night and addressed the video that went viral worldwide after the Rugby World Cup in 2011.

Mr Key says it wasn't him that hijacked the handshake and claimed Mr Lapasset had "come over the top" when McCaw extended his hand.

"For years I've been maligned over this, and look, it is awkward," Mr Key said.

McCaw confirmed that Mr Key's series of events was correct, saying the famous video of the incident shows who the handshake was intended for.

"I think you can see from there, yeah, the Prime Minister of New Zealand."