McCaw’s century as skipper ‘massive’: ReadOn 01/31/2019 by admin
Richie McCaw’s next entry in the world Test rugby record book warrants more than the usual cursory glance says All Blacks teammate Kieran Read.
McCaw will become the first player to captain his country in 100 Tests when he leads them onto Millennium Stadium to face Wales on Saturday.
The milestone will be reached 10 years and two days after he first earned the honour, and at the same venue.
McCaw was named skipper to face Wales in place of rested incumbent captain Tana Umaga at Cardiff in 2004.
Aged 23, he led the youngest ever All Blacks team to a nail-biting 26-25 win.
McCaw succeed Umaga full-time from 2006 and has led his country to a remarkable 87 wins.
Just two other players – Ireland’s Brian O’Driscoll (84) and South Africa’s John Smit (83) – have been captain more than 60 times.
While 136-Test flanker McCaw reaches milestones on a regular basis, Read says this one deserves a special mention.
“It’s a massive deal, it’s huge, to play 100 Tests for your country, let alone captain,” Read told AAP.
“He doesn’t want to make any deal of it really, that’s the typical man that he is.
“He loves the job, that’s why he keeps doing it. He’s able to keep adding to what he does.”
Read says any team acknowledgment of the milestone will come after the Test, placing more pressure on the All Blacks to maintain their 61-year winning run against the Welsh.
World player of the year in 2013, Read is regarded as McCaw’s likely captaincy successor, potentially after next year’s World Cup.
And the No.8 says the 33-year-old’s mentality of leading with his deeds has rubbed off.
“At some point in most games, especially big games, you’ll see him fly into a ruck or see him come out with the ball on the other side,” he said.
“He’s got no regard for his body and when you see that from your skipper, you kind of have to follow.
“He’s done well to keep his body together hasn’t he?”
99 Tests – Richie McCaw (NZ, 2004-14), 88 per cent games won
84 – Brian O’Driscoll (Ireland, 2002-12), 61.9
83 – John Smit (South Africa, 2003-11), 65.1
59 – Will Carling (England, 1988-96), 74.6
59 – George Gregan (Australia, 2001-07), 57.6
59 – Sergio Parisse (Italy, 2008-14), 22.0
55 – John Eales (Australia, 1996-2001), 74.5
51 – Sean Fitzpatrick (NZ, 1992-97), 76.5
Other All Blacks:
30 – Wilson Whineray (1958-65), 73.3
23 – Reuben Thorne (2002-07), 87.0
22 – Taine Randell (1998-2002), 54.5
21 – Tana Umaga (2004-05), 85.7