Richard Hugh McCaw.
To all those who were kicking dirt onto his rugby playing casket last week? Shame on you.
Richie McCaw is the greatest rugby player of this generation – and when he decides to hang up his boots, will be upheld as the G.O.A.T (Greatest Of All Time).
Last night in Sydney was another example of why this statement is not far-fetched. Yet another masterclass on how to influence a game. How to turn the ball over in the tackle. How to pick your moments at the breakdown. The guy is just out of this world. Indomitable.
It’s hard to see anyone close to him in that G.O.A.T conversation – he’s that good. Other players will give you great skillsets, but Richie will win you games – period.
Richie is something we have never seen before, doing things at a level the world’s greatest players have never done. And the scary thing is – he looks far from finished.
If anything, the sabbatical he has just taken looks to have rejuvenated him. Scary thought.
Two things separate Richie from the rest of the rugby playing world.
His engine. He reminds me of Ironman – the superhero with the bionic heart. The man has only picked up the oval ball a handful of times over the last eight months. For 99% of players that is not enough matchplay to step into the cauldron of test rugby.
But see that’s the thing with Richie, the test arena is not a cauldron – it’s his playground. The interview he had the day before the game was not with a man under pressure, under the bright lights – it was with a man who was coming home.
And his leadership is out-of-this-world. What he does for the players around him is just incredible. His presence makes good players great, and great players – legends.
Have we ever seen leadership like this on the rugby field of this magnitude?
The team that dismantled the Wallabies last night is not the same All Black team that played the French earlier this year. His influence is that immense.
The way players buy into excellence when Richie is on the field is mesmerizing.
So Richie’s back everyone. Enjoy him while he’s here.
The All Blacks were awesome last night. 47 points on the number three international team in the world is a strong statement.
The All Blacks are back to dominate world rugby. And their leader is going nowhere. Beware.
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