Richie McCaw (New Zealand)
Born: 31 December, 1980 in Oamaru, New Zealand
World Rugby Hall of Fame – Inductee No.143
One of the greats of the modern game and the only person to have captained a side to two Rugby World Cup wins, in 2011 and 2015.
McCaw’s playing record speaks for itself. After making his debut as a 20-year-old against Ireland in 2001, the Crusaders star went on to become New Zealand's most-capped player with 148 test appearances to his name, of which 110 were as captain – more than double that of the previous record holder Sean Fitzpatrick. Having captained his country for the first time against Wales in 2004, he was given the honour on a permanent basis in 2006.
Exceptional at the breakdown and a fine link player in attack, McCaw enjoyed a long-held reputation as the best openside in the world. His return of 27 test tries is the most by an All Blacks forward.
Despite being a three-time recipient of the World Rugby Player of the Year award (2006, 2009 and 2010) – a record he shares with long-time team-mate Dan Carter – and the many other accolades that came his way during a stellar career, McCaw remained incredibly humble, a hallmark of the team he led to seven Tri-Nations/Rugby Championship titles in addition to the Rugby World Cup double.
For the Crusaders, he won four Super Rugby titles – three as captain.