Richie McCaw. Photo by Reuters
This year will go down as another outstanding season for
All Blacks skipper Richie McCaw, despite suffering defeat in
the final test of 2012.
McCaw is looking to cap the year by becoming the first person
to be named the Kelvin R Tremain Memorial player of the year
for a fourth time after leading the side to 12 victories from
14 tests. They suffered one defeat to England and drew 18-18
McCaw is nominated for the top gong at tonight's rugby awards
in Auckland along with 2010 winner Kieran Read and centre
After finishing his 12th season in the All Blacks, this year
has added to McCaw's growing legacy which seemingly reached a
new height in October last year when he lifted the Rugby
But the 31-year-old didn't stop there, leading the All Blacks
through a 20-match unbeaten run which finally came to an end
The 116-test flanker said it had been a satisfying year for
"Twelve months ago we'd come off winning a World Cup," McCaw
told Total Rugby Radio. "I think it would have been easy to
sit back and enjoy that but I sort of feel, especially from
the All Black point of view, we've been able to maintain the
level we're after and it's been a pretty satisfying year."
Unlike previous world champions, the All Blacks have
continued to perform in the following season - claiming the
Rugby Championship, retaining the Bledisloe Cup and going 80
minutes shy of an unbeaten season.
Asked if this is the best All Blacks side he's ever played
in, McCaw said it came close.
"When you look at the results over the last 12-18 months, the
results would say it's right up there. We've got some pretty
talented guys - I think seven or eight over 30 who've all
played a lot of tests and have all been at the top of
international rugby for a while.
"I suppose when you look at that, it's one of the best All
Blacks team I've been involved in, but then you go back
through the years there's been some pretty talented players
I've played alongside and played in teams with."
After another outstanding season in the black jersey,
culminating with an IRB Player of the Year nomination won by
teammate Dan Carter, McCaw is looking forward to a
well-earned break and looking to get away to South America.
"I've given myself three months or so to head away and
probably go to places where rugby's not so well known. You
can sort of sneak around a bit anonymously I'm pretty keen to
go to America and have a look around there.
"I haven't made any firm plans yet but that is my initial
plan. Freshen up a wee bit and get yourself ready to go
again, that's what I'm looking forward to.
"My job is to get the right break I need and cone back ready
to go, fit, fresh and excited and hopefully be around for a
bit longer yet."
- By Cameron McMillan of nzherald.co.nz