Richie McCaw By The Numbers

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Posted in :All Blacks, Original Content on 24 Nov 2015 at 10:28
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There is no doubt that Richie McCaw is one of the best, but is he truly the greatest player of all time? He left behind a legacy that describes him as one of the biggest sportsmen and leaders and makes him a true icon.

After he retired from rugby on 19 November 2015, his All Blacks teammates as well as rivals described him the best ever rugby player to have played with or against. Jean de Villiers, said that his achievements on and off the field are unbelievable, and that he will probably go down as the finest ever player that rugby fans have seen. He is so great that Microgaming’s popular Rugby Star slot found at some of the best online casinos in South Africa should have been themed around Richie and called the Richie McCaw Rugby Star slot.

Phil Waugh, the former Australia flanker, admires all of Richie’s bruises and scars, which stand as a proof of his greatness and all of the trophies and medals that Richie won, more than any other player. Ronan O’Gara hailed him as the best there’ll ever be, and that no player has ever beaten the Springboks as Richie has. There are many more statements by former and current players that praise Richie, more than we are able to put in this article, so let’s just go into the numbers.

The All Blacks have made 413 victories ever since the team began officially competing in 1903, and McCaw has been part of 131 wins, or 31.7% to be exact. Not only that his 131 wins are a record in rugby, he also holds the record for the most number of tests as well, 148. He played 110 of those as a captain and lost only 2 of the 61 tests he played on home soil for New Zealand.

He missed only 37 tests since he debuted in 2001 and has played 37 tests against Australia, which is a record for one player to play against an opposition. He lost only 6 of those tests. Since his first-ever test, 132 players have also debuted for the All Blacks. He played tests against 18 different nation on 39 different grounds and traveled to South Africa 12 times to play a test match.

He is the third most forward all-time tries scorer with 27 tries scored, and he has lifted the Bledisloe Cup 10 times as an All Blacks captain. Furthermore, he won 2 World Cups, 3 Rugby Championships, and 4 Tri Nations titles. He was awarded the World Rugby Player of the Year award 3 times.

When McCaw was absent from All Blacks’ tests, their winning percentage was 68. The All Blocks have lost 15 times with McCaw in the team, but only 3 of them were losses by double figures. In his 148 tests, McCaw has been replaced only 30 times, with 9 being in his last four years. Only 7 times he came off the bench. Finally, only 4 nations defeated the All Blacks with McCaw playing: Australia, South Africa, England and France. Numbers that only a legend can achieve!


  • A player I loved to hate and only behind Shane Warne in my books when it comes to that category. But he really has achieved a lot in his career and deserves the praise. We might argue that he pushed the envelope when it comes to offside lines but he always seemed to get away with it. It is interesting to read the 68% winning ratio for the AB when he was not in the team, did he really have such an immense effect on the team or was the entire AB team watered down in those matches?

  • Comment 1, posted at 24.11.15 10:57:35 by Farlington Reply
  • A truly amazing player and he also seems like a great person as well!

    The game was better with him in it and i hope that he gets involved again in some capacity in the future. The dream would be if he could help the developing rugby nations…Uruguay, Samoa, America, South Africa :mrgreen:

  • Comment 2, posted at 24.11.15 12:27:17 by ChrisS Reply
  • Long lasting. It helps that he’s been playing for the best team all those years. I never really got it with him. I never felt like he was something we should worry about, but always knew that the All Blacks weren’t the same team without him… and Carter. I think that legacy would be all the more special if the All Blacks slowly start to regress on that record, but I have a feeling we’ll continue seeing those kind of numbers from this team for still a long time to come.

  • Comment 3, posted at 24.11.15 13:32:23 by Letgo Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Author
  • Still don’t like him!!!!!!!!!

  • Comment 4, posted at 24.11.15 14:11:09 by JD Reply
    Friend of SharksworldCompetition Winner Administrator
  • This man was, is a legend,he always gave 110% on the field,I was and still am a huge fan of Michael Jones ,but think that Ritchie eclipsed him.
    First time I saw was at KP in the test that moron invaded the field and punched the refree,it happened right in front of me,as he landed that blow Ritchie hit him,and A.J Venter,playing oposite Ritchie looked up saw a guy in a bok jersey being punched went to defend him and realised what had happened and decked him as well.
    I will never forget that.

  • Comment 5, posted at 24.11.15 14:29:33 by The hound Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld
    The hound
  • @Farlington (Comment 1) : @JD (Comment 4) : I totally get that about Warne, and I felt that way about Gregan, but I have to say, as much as I wanted to hate McCaw, I just couldn’t. He is pure class, a rugby player that every team wishes they had. I know many called him a cheat, but he was the very best at assessing each situation and understanding just what each referee would let him get away with. He had a rugby brain and a rugby body to go along with it, cerebral AND physical player. So sorry, just could not hate him, as much as I wanted to. It is kind of like with Zinzan, I wanted to hate him, and had no problem hating hi brother Robin, but just could not with Zinzan, for the same reasons as McCaw. True legend of the game, pure class.

  • Comment 6, posted at 24.11.15 17:10:31 by Dancing Bear Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld
    Dancing Bear
  • Amazing stats…he could certainly play the game and he deservers all the honours that come his way. I also really appreciate the attitude he showed off the field. The way he and the New Zealanders honoured Jean de Villiers for his 100the cap was pure class…
    I also have to honest, though, and say I didn’t always appreciate just how far he stretched the laws of the game and how he got away with much because refs seemed to be in awe of him…

  • Comment 7, posted at 24.11.15 21:43:01 by pastorshark Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Administrator
  • @Dancing Bear (Comment 6) : I’m one of the people that call him a cheat!!!!!!!! 😈 He’s a good player but got away with a lot that other players got penalised for!!!!!!!!!

  • Comment 8, posted at 25.11.15 08:36:56 by JD Reply
    Friend of SharksworldCompetition Winner Administrator

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