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NZ Rugby World

NZ Rugby World No 177 Year in Review

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New Zealand Rugby World is the premier authority on our national game; with sharp analysis and irreverent humour the two key components. In both style and content the writing is award winning and provides an unparalleled depth of insight into the people who play the game and the issues that matter to the fans. The cast of contributors is world class as is the photography and lay-out. Pick this magazine up and you won't want to put it down - rugby has never been so much fun.

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New Zealand
Dark Horse Collective Ltd
6 Issues

in this issue

4 min.
editor’s letter

IT’S NOT NORMALLY WISE to be defi nitive when it comes to assessing the merits of individuals in a team sport. Suggesting someone is the best of all time usually works more as a question than it does an answer because it is such a subjective and interpretative business. What makes someone the greatest ever? What would the criteria for that be? Well, our view is that the factors that need to be considered are longevity; performance; infl uence and character. Measured across these four categories, Richie McCaw is, in our view, the greatest All Black in history. That’s why we felt we had to turn this issue into a tribute to him: his career was so incredible, so signifi cant that as the country’s leading rugby magazine, we had to…

2 min.
a career in numbers

First Test November 17, 2001 Ireland 29-40 New Zealand Lansdowne Road Dublin Age: 20 years and 321 days Last Test October 31, 2015 Australia 17-34 New Zealand Twickenham Stadium, London Age: 34 years and 304 days Test Career 13 years and 348 days 89 His winning percentage as an All Black 31 No of times McCaw didn’t play the full 80 minutes 2 No of times McCaw lifted the Rugby World Cup 132 Victories 148 Test appearances 141 – Brian O’Driscoll [Ire] // 139 – George Gregan [Aus] 132 – Keven Mealamu [NZ] // 130 – Ronan O’Gara [Ire] 127 – Victor Matfield [SA] // 124 – Gethin Jenkins [Wales] 119 – Jason Leonard [Eng] // 118 – Fabien Pelous [Fra] 118 – Tony Woodcock [NZ] 111Tests as Captain 84 – Brian O’Driscoll [Ire] // 83 – John Smit [SA] 66 – Sergio Parisse [Ita]…

13 min.
seventh wonder of the world

Who knows, the big story about Richie McCaw may still be to come. Maybe someone will discover that he was never actually composed of blood, bones and skin like the rest of us and was in fact wires, circuits and titanium parts. That would explain a lot. An awful lot because his career doesn’t actually make sense. It ‘s too vast to comprehend; too incredible to really get a handle on. If it turns out he was indeed a cyborg as much as it would be a shock, it would also provide some kind of explanation for something that right now is a little hard to explain. In this age of Moneyball-isation, there’s an endless desire and fascination with evaluating careers by numbers. McCaw is off the scale here. He played 148 tests –…

8 min.
the discovery

As the professional age developed, systems began to bed in around improved talent identification. The penny also dropped that recruitment needed to start younger. By the turn of the century, NPC sides were more active than they had been when it came to scouring for young players. They couldn’t sit around waiting any more for local talent to gravitate to their home province. It wasn’t like that by then. Super Rugby had changed recruitment patterns. Players had worked out that if they wanted to play Super Rugby, their best bet was to play for a province that was deemed a base – that is Auckland, Waikato, Wellington, Canterbury and Otago. Eligibility back then was linked to geography – to play for the Blues, players had to be contracted to Auckland, Northland or North…

5 min.
first blood

There was an air of anything being possible midway through the 2001 rugby season. The All Blacks had been thrown into a state of turmoil after they had suffered a heartbreaking loss to the Wallabies in Sydney. It was a defeat that led to incumbent coach Wayne Smith challenging his own desire and worthiness to coach the team – a decision which would cost him his job as the position was put out to tender and he missed out to John Mitchell. Young and relatively inexperienced, Mitchell had a desire to do things his way and he spent the last few weeks of the NPC hoping to find some nuggets to inject into his first All Black squad that he would name to tour Ireland, Scotland and Argentina in November. There were a…

7 min.
peer pressure

1 GREG FEEK Age: 26 Test No: 9 Last Test: November 24, 2001 Feek would actually play his last test the following week in Edinburgh. Still only 26, he continued to play for the Crusaders and in the ITM Cup until 2006, but never managed to deliver the same sort of form he did in 2001. After he hung his boots up, aged just 30, he took to coaching and was scrum coach with the Hurricanes, before joining Leinster in 2010. He is currently the scrum coach with the Irish national team. 2 ANTON OLIVER Age: 26 Test No: 37 Last Test: October 6, 2007 Oliver was the captain the day McCaw made his debut and was one of the most experienced men in the pack. His luck was about to change, though, as new coach John Mitchell wasn’t…