The best back-row player in history, without a doubt. When Michael Jones is referenced in the same sentence as you, you know you are doing something right, but Richie McCaw rose above that stage long before he took his 100th Test. Rugby supporters can book New Zealand Rugby World Cup Tickets on our website at exclusively discounted prices.
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Richie McCaw, who had a lengthy and fruitful career competing for the New Zealand All Blacks, is widely recognised as one of the best rugby players of all time. The following is a synopsis of his rugby-playing career:
McCaw started playing rugby at an early age and right away had a lot of promise. He made his rugby appearance in 1999 for the Canterbury provincial squad, and shortly after that, he was chosen for the New Zealand U19 team.
Graham Henry is frequently credited with changing eras within the All-Black team after being named leader at the young age of 25 and having only 36 New Zealand caps. He had already changed the ethos.
McCaw led New Zealand through an absurd 110 Test matches, conquering an incredible 97 of them. Only 21 players, including him, have captured two Rugby World Cups, and he is the only one to have performed so while serving as captain.
He was the first All-Black centurion, a three-time Rugby World Rugby Player of the Year winner, and in 2016 he received the Order of New Zealand, the nation’s highest honour. We could keep going.
McCaw, who was raised by farmers in Oamaru who were descended from Scottish immigrants, didn’t begin taking rugby seriously until he entered Otago Boys’ High School. He drew the attention of the national selectors in the national schools final while serving as Head Boy at that school.
But he was passed over for selection in favour of three of his Super Rugby teammates. He continued to fly gliders with his grandfather, a passion he had liked since he was nine years old and instead made his way to Christchurch to study agriculture in the hopes of catching the attention of the Canterbury selectors.
When eventually received offers to play professional rugby, he was almost about to graduate.
Club career journey
Unlike many of his peers, McCaw only ever played for New Zealand-based teams, notably the Canterbury and Crusaders. Despite this, he earned more caps for New Zealand than he earned for either team.
He won four Super Rugby championships with the Crusaders and six NPC championships with Canterbury. He initially started playing regularly for both teams in 2002, but he had already established himself at Canterbury when he was named NPC Player of the Year in 2001. In 2005, he was named the Crusaders’ captain, and he guided them to 3 of his four Super Rugby championships.
International career journey
McCaw had barely played eight minutes of Super Rugby when he was first chosen to tour with the All Blacks, which led Josh Kronfeld to declare the nomination “bloody incredible” given how little rugby McCaw had performed. However, McCaw had already served as the U21 captain of New Zealand and had been named Man of the Match in his debut game towards Ireland.
After suffering concussions in 2005, McCaw began to doubt his ability to continue playing, but he eventually made a comeback and helped New Zealand defeat the Lions by a rout.
Contributions in RWC
After leading the team in their shocking Rugby World Cup loss to France in 2007, McCaw came under fire once more. However, when Henry was brought back as coach, he immediately renamed McCaw captain, and he received a reward four years later when McCaw finally won the Rugby World Cup, despite playing the majority of the final with a broken foot.
Three countries—France, Scotland, and Wales hosted the 2007 Rugby World Cup. The All Blacks competed in a pool with teams from Scotland, Italy, Portugal, and Romania. Due to Henry’s rotational strategy, McCaw only made three appearances. The All Blacks’ quarterfinal defeat to France (18-20) became New Zealand’s earliest Rugby World Cup departure.
At the press conference following the game, McCaw was unable to conceal his disappointment: “If I knew the solutions, we would have figured it out. We’ll be deliberating it for a while. McCaw disputed that New Zealand’s loss was influenced by their easy entry into the quarterfinals. “Many of the guys have experienced this before; they’ve participated in significant test matches.”
Key players were rested as part of Graham Henry’s squad rotation strategy during the Super 14. Additionally, McCaw came under fire. He was charged with failing to motivate his players, being unable to alter course after plan A fell through, and lacking sufficient on-field leadership.
The 2015 Rugby World Cup win for the New Zealand All Blacks was made possible in large part by Richie McCaw. He made the following notable contributions:
Outstanding Leadership: The All Blacks’ performance in the competition was greatly aided by McCaw’s leadership. He set a good example by working hard and being dedicated to the team’s objectives. In the championship’s knockout rounds, when the stakes were the highest, his guidance was extremely crucial.
Outstanding Performance: In the championship game versus Australia, McCaw stood out for himself. He was a persistent presence in the breakdown and produced a handful of impactful tackles and interceptions. His performance played a crucial role in the All Blacks’ triumph.
McCaw was a crucial contributor to the creation of the All Blacks’ defensive plan for the competition. With just three tries allowed in seven games, the club had the strongest defensive performance in the competition. It was widely acknowledged that McCaw had a positive impact on the defence of the squad.
Intellectual strength: Another important factor in the success of the All Blacks was McCaw’s toughness of mind and capacity to manage pressure. The team remained focused on their objective throughout the competition thanks to his guidance and expertise because he had won the Rugby World Cup in 2011.
Richie McCaw made a lot of contributions to the 2015 Rugby World Cup overall. Key elements in the All Blacks’ triumph included his managerial skills, individual success, tactical strategy, and intellectual tenacity.
After Henry resigned, Steve Hansen kept McCaw as captain, and McCaw took a break in 2013 to ensure he would be fit to defend his Rugby World Cup in 2015.
The All Blacks’ 2001 match against Ireland saw McCaw make his team debut. He became a significant member of the team very fast, and in 2006, he was named captain of the All Blacks. The team performed admirably under his direction, winning two Rugby World Cups in 2011 and 2015 and defending the Bledisloe Cup versus Australia for a long time.
McCaw set a global record by participating in 148 matches for the All Blacks across the course of his international career. Additionally, he amassed 27 tries, and in 2006, 2009, and 2010, he received a record-tying three Player of the Year awards from the International Rugby Board.
McCaw confirmed his retirement from international rugby following the 2015 Rugby World Cup triumph by the All Blacks. He had a 131-win, 7-draw, and 10-loss record towards the end of his career. He also ended his domestic rugby career in 2016, having spent his whole playing career with the Canterbury Crusaders in Super Rugby.
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Charlotte and Grace, two of McCaw’s daughters, are the products of his marriage to Gemma Flynn, a previous New Zealand hockey player. He is currently a helicopter pilot who has conducted multiple rescue operations as a consequence of his interest in flying and dedication, and he was also given the title of senior wing captain in the New Zealand Air Force. He frequently takes part in athletic endurance competitions.
Richie McCaw has left a lasting legacy as one of the best rugby players in history. He was well-recognised for his extraordinary work ethic, ability to lead, and dedication to the game. His extraordinary accomplishments have solidified his standing in rugby history, and he still serves as an example for aspiring athletes around the globe.
He is a director and a significant shareholder of Christchurch Helicopters and one of just 20 people to have the Order of New Zealand, which is the maximum number that can be granted. He has several homes and resides in an upscale area of Christchurch.
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