Sam Whitelock: 42 stats and facts from the All Blacks legend’s career

Jared Wright
All Blacks lock Sam Whitelock celebrating the 2015 Rugby World Cup victory and the 2018 Super Rugby win with the Crusaders.

The numbers behind Sam Whitelock's career.

Following Sam Whitelock’s announcement that he will be retiring from professional rugby at the end of the season, we take a look at the numbers behind the All Black’s incredible career.

Sam Whitelock’s career in numbers

1988 – The year that Samuel Lawrence Whitelock was born.

3 – The number of brothers Whitelock has, with George and Luke representing the All Blacks and Adam the New Zealand Sevens team.

2 – The number of years that he played for the New Zealand schoolboys side.

2008 – The year he won the inaugural U20 World Championship with New Zealand, and the year he made his first-class debut for Canterbury.

22 – The number of games he would play for Canterbury.

2010 – The year that he would make his Crusaders and All Blacks debut.

180 – Games for the Crusaders, making him the second most capped player for the side, only behind Wyatt Crockett (203).

2 – The number of tries he scored on his Test debut off the bench against Ireland in 2011.

8 – He was the eighth player from Feilding High to represent the All Blacks, with Aaron Smith and Codie Taylor the ninth and tenth, respectively.

13 – How many times he represented the All Blacks in his first international season.

1,104 – Whitelock’s All Black number after debuting at 21 years, 243 days old.

4 – He represented New Zealand in four Rugby World Cups from 2011 to 2023.

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26 – The number of Rugby World Cup matches he appeared in – four more than the next best by Richie McCaw.

17 – Whitelock’s career spanned an impressive 17 years, a testament to his unwavering dedication and commitment.

29 – He was the youngest player to reach 100 caps for the All Blacks, reaching the milestone at 29 years old.

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100 – In 2018, Whitelock became the eighth All Black to play 100 Tests for New Zealand. Not only was he the youngest to reach the milestone, he did it the quickest between his first and 100th cap.

1 – He was the first player to reach 100 Test wins with less than 10 defeats.

7 – Whitelock is one of just seven men’s players who have won 100 Test matches, all of which are All Blacks – McCaw (131), Whitelock (125), Keven Mealamu (114), Kieran Read (107), Tony Woodcock (102), Beauden Barrett (101) and Smith (100).

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150 – He became the first player to reach the 150 Test cap milestone for the All Blacks, reaching the feat in the 2023 World Cup pool game against Uruguay.

1 – Whitelock ends his career as the most capped All Blacks player, and second most capped men’s international, of all-time with 153 caps.

127 – He started 127 of those 153 Test caps, coming off the bench 26 times and wore the number five jersey 103 times and the number four shirt 24 times.

64 – He packed down in the second-row alongside Brodie Retallick on 64 occasions – a world record surpassing Springboks duo Bakkies Botha and Victor Matfield.

125 – He won 125 of his 153 Test caps, losing 22 and drawing six.

82 – Whitelock won 82% of his Test matches for the All Blacks.

18 – How many times he captained New Zealand in a Test match.

7 – After scoring two tries on his Test debut in 2010, Whitelock would also score five more throughout his career. He scored his seventh against Australia in 2022.

3 – He scored a third try against Ireland in November of 2010, taking his tally against the Irish to three, the most he scored against one nation.

29 – Throughout his Test career, Whitelock defeated Australia 29 times, the most of any other nation he came up against, with South Africa in second place on 17.

6 – Australia and South Africa also defeated Whitelock six times each, with Argentina, England and France claiming two wins each and Ireland three.

3 – Whitelock drew with Australia on three occasions, and further games against England, the British and Irish Lions and the Springboks ended in stalemates.

19 – He played against 19 different nations throughout his career, they are: Argentina, Australia, British & Irish Lions, Canada, England, Fiji, France, Georgia, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Namibia, Samoa, Scotland, South Africa, Tonga, Uruguay, USA and Wales.

38 – He played against Australia more than any other nation, fronting up against the Wallabies 38 times and the Springboks on 24 occasions.

35 – Whitelock announces his retirement from professional rugby at 35 years old.


2 – How many Rugby World Cups Whitelock won, starting both the 2011 and 2015 victories over France and Australia respectively.

11 – He won the Tri-Nations/Rugby Championship 11 times (2012 to 2018 and 2020 to 2023) while also retaining the Bledisloe Cup on 14 occasions throughout his career.

7 – The number of Super Rugby titles Whitelock won with the Crusaders (2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021, 2022, and 2023).

2 – He was named Player of the Match in two recent Super Rugby finals (2022 and 2023).

2017 – The year he was named the New Zealand Rugby Player of the Year.

2022 – The year he was included in World Rugby Men’s 15s Dream Team of the Year.

2017 – Whitelock started all three Tests of the drawn 2017 British & Irish Lions series.

6 – He was part of six World Rugby Team of the Year-winning All Blacks teams.

READ MORE: ‘Immortal’ All Blacks great Sam Whitelock makes shock retirement call after rejecting Scott Robertson’s opportunity