Full name Richard Hugh McCaw
Born December 31, 1980, Oamaru
Current age 35 years 301 days
Major teams Barbarians, Crusaders, New Zealand
Height 6 ft 2 in
Weight 238 lb
|IRB Rugby World Cup||2003-2015||22||18||4||15||3||0||0||0||20||2||0||90.90|
|The Rugby Championship||2002-2015||58||58||0||85||17||0||0||0||47||10||1||81.89|
|Test debut||Ireland v New Zealand at Lansdowne Road, Nov 17, 2001 match details|
|Last Test||Australia v New Zealand at Twickenham, Oct 31, 2015 match details|
|Test Statsguru||Main menu | Career summary | Match list | Most points | Most tries | Tournament list|
Richie McCaw is one of the greats of the modern game having led the All Blacks to Rugby World Cup glory in 2011 and claimed the International Rugby Board's Player of the Year award on a record three occasions.
He has carved out a formidable reputation as arguably the best openside flanker in the world since emerging onto the international stage at only 20 years of age. A master of the breakdown area, McCaw possesses the size and strength to be a formidable defender whilst displaying the speed and handling skills to excel in the loose.
After impressing at U19 and U21 levels, McCaw was handed his All Blacks debut against Ireland in Dublin on November 17, 2001 where he signalled his intent with an eye-catching performance as the tourists accounted for the hosts. He captained his country for the first time against Wales in 2004 when he was aged just 23 and was given the honour full-time in 2006.
McCaw played a key part in New Zealand's Tri-Nations triumphs in 2002 and 2003 and in doing so helped the All Blacks end the Wallabies' five-year Bledisloe Cup reign. The 2003 Rugby World Cup saw him cement his reputation as one of the rising stars of the game. McCaw produced some notable performances for the tournament favourites but eventually had to share in the disappointment as the All Blacks were undone by rivals and hosts Australia in the semi-finals.
The formidable loose forward made the switch to openside flanker in 2005, the same year his Crusaders side took the Super 14 title and the All Blacks accounted for the touring British & Irish Lions. That year saw the first of four successive Tri-Nations triumphs for New Zealand with McCaw captaining the side to victory on the latter three occasions. This successful run also saw McCaw add another Super Rugby title and the IRB Player of the Year award to his list of honours in 2006. McCaw led the All Blacks into the 2007 Rugby World Cup where again they were favourites but again success on the sport's biggest stage evaded McCaw and his team.
McCaw led the All Blacks to the Tri-Nations title in 2008, before skippering the side to their third Grand Slam tour of the UK and Ireland in the autumn of 2008. At the end of the tour, McCaw made his debut for the Barbarians in an 18-12 defeat to Australia at Wembley Stadium. Knee injuries and a concussion limited his Super 14 contribution in 2009 and he also missed the June Tests against France and Italy. However, he returned to the All Blacks' ranks for the Tri-Nations opener against Australia in Auckland and steered his side to another unbeaten tour of Europe that climaxed with a demolition of France and another IRB Player of the Year award.
He was again at the helm of the All Blacks at the start of the 2010 international season and with a 2-0 series victory over Wales he surpassed Sean Fitzpatrick's record mark of 39 Test wins as New Zealand captain. McCaw's 50th Test as skipper arrived in August, with the peerless openside inspiring his side to a 20-10 victory over bitter rivals Australia in Christchurch, thus ensuring that the Bledisloe Cup with remain on New Zealand soil for another year.
In September, he led his side to another victory over the Wallabies, this time in Sydney, in what was his 52nd Test match, thus moving him past Fitzpatrick as the most capped Test skipper in All Blacks history. Fittingly, McCaw marked the occasion with a try which sparked a stirring final-quarter comeback which saw the visitors run out 23-22 winners. McCaw went on to lead his side to a fifth Tri-Nations title in six years and he rounded out an outstanding season by steering his side to only their fourth Grand Slam tour of the UK & Ireland - and the second under McCaw's stewardship. As a result it was no surprise when McCaw completed a hat-trick of IRB awards at the year's conclusion.
A stress fracture in his right foot would trouble McCaw for much of 2011 and having undergone surgery to insert a pin at the start of the year, he was forced to manage his game time throughout the season. It was a trying year in more ways than one with the Crusaders forced to play the entire Super Rugby campaign on the road after their AMI Stadium home was damaged in a major earthquake but McCaw handed them a boost mid-season by putting pen to paper on a new deal with the franchise and the New Zealand Rugby Union.
The Crusaders defied the odds to reach the Super Rugby final where they were beaten by the Reds and McCaw would be on the losing side at the Suncorp Stadium again a few weeks later with the Wallabies edging out the All Blacks to claim the Tri-Nations crown.
McCaw's foot injury resurfaced during the World Cup and he was forced to sit out two early games but he was back at the heart of proceedings at the business end of the tournament. He inspired the All Blacks to a 20-6 victory over Australia in the semi-finals and followed that up by guiding his side to a nail-biting 8-7 victory over France in the tournament finale.
McCaw was edged out by team-mate Jerome Kaino for New Zealand's Player of the Year honour but claimed the Halberg Award for New Zealand's Sportsman of the Year. However, he generated more headlines by turning down the offer of a knighthood.
The All Blacks skipper racked up another accolade when he surpassed Australia's George Gregan with a record number of Test wins (94) following New Zealand's 60-0 thrashing of Ireland in June 2012.
He later announced he would exercise the sabbatical clause in his NZRU contract in 2013 and as a result he sat out the majority of the Super Rugby campaign and the June internationals before returning in time for the play-offs and the Rugby Championship.
McCaw continued to play at a high level for both the Crusaders and the All Blacks before retiring on November 19, 2015, in the wake of becoming the first captain to lift the Rugby World Cup twice after New Zealand became the first back-to-back champions.
McCaw farewelled the game having played 145 Super Rugby matches for the Crusaders and surpassing Brian O'Driscoll as the most-capped player in Test rugby history. Among the notable world records he held upon leaving the game, he won more Tests than any other player (131), scored more Test tries than any other forward (27), and won more Rugby World Cup Tests than any other player (20). He was also the most-capped captain in world rugby (110), and won the most Test wins as captain (97).
Alongside his two Rugby World Cup triumphs, McCaw won seven Tri-Nations/Rugby Championship titles and 10 Bledisloe Cup series, and captained two All Blacks Grand Slam tours.
For the Crusaders, he won four Super Rugby titles - three as captain.