McCaw’s superb career: key facts

Date published: November 19 2015

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Following the news of Richie McCaw's retirement, here are some key facts and stats courtesy of the New Zealand Rugby Union about the player regarded by many as the greatest of all time.

• Born on December 31, 1980, in Oamaru to parents Margaret and Donald, Richard Hugh McCaw was raised in the small North Otago town of Kurow before heading to Dunedin to board at Otago Boys' High School.

• In 1999 he moved to Christchurch to further his rugby career and study at Lincoln University and was selected in the New Zealand U19 team.

• In 2000 he played for the New Zealand U21 team and made his provincial debut for Canterbury.

• He made his Super Rugby debut for the Crusaders in 2001 and played 145 times for the team through to 2015. The team won the Super Rugby competition four times during his career.

• He made his Test debut on November 17, 2001 against Ireland at Lansdowne Road, Dublin, aged 20, becoming All Black number 1014. He was named Man of the Match. His last Test was the victorious RWC 2015 Final in London.

• McCaw retires having played 148 Test matches, the most by any player in rugby history.

• He recorded 131 Test wins in those 148 Tests, a world record. He experienced Test defeat just 15 times.

• McCaw was the first All Blacks Test centurion, playing his 100th Test in the Pool Play match against France in RWC 2011.

• He first captained the All Blacks against Wales on 20 November 2004 becoming the 60th All Blacks Test captain.

• He went on to captain the team in 110 Tests, a world record.

• Under his captaincy, the All Blacks won the Bledisloe Cup ten times, as well as four Tri Nations titles, three Rugby Championships, two Grand Slams and two Rugby World Cups.

• McCaw has played a staggering 27 percent of the All Blacks total 538 Test matches played since 1903.

• He played 61 times on New Zealand soil, losing just two Tests.

• McCaw scored 27 tries in his Test career for tally of 135 points, the most by an All Blacks forward and putting him 23rd on the All Blacks Test-scoring list.

• McCaw played just one non-Test for the All Blacks – against the Barbarians in 2009.

• He was named World Rugby Player of the Year a record three times in 2006, 2009 and 2010 and was nominated for the award eight times, the first time in 2002.

• He was also awarded the Kelvin R. Tremain Memorial Trophy as New Zealand Player of the Year four times (2003, 2006, 2009 and 2012) and won the Halberg Award for New Zealand Sportsman of the Year twice in 2010 and 2011.

• McCaw played against 18 different international teams, with his 37 Tests against Australia – the most by one player against another international side.

• He released his autobiography, The Open Side, in 2012 and it is believed to be the best-selling rugby autobiography of all time, with sales in excess of 120,000.

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