Brownlie, Nathan, Tremain, Mourie, Kirkpatrick, Jones, Kronfeld...all products of rugby union's greatest loose forward factory. Now, though, a name stands alone. Richie McCaw has rightly taken his place at the top of tree - the greatest flanker ever to represent New Zealand and, on sheer results, the greatest captain international rugby has ever known. After the All Blacks' all-conquering 2011 Rugby World Cup campaign, McCaw has surged past South Africa's John Smit as the 'winningest' international captain in the history of test rugby. His list of achievements go on and on, including leading his side on 'one leg' to victory over France in the 2011 World Cup final at Eden Park. His stellar career began back in 2001 when he debuted against Ireland at the age of 20. Now, 11 seasons later, he is the most capped All Black in history, with 103 tests under his belt. A measure of McCaw's ability at the very highest level is the fact that he has been awarded the IRB's supreme prize as best player in the world on three occasions - 2006, 2009 and 2010. No other player has ever won the award twice.
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Unlike many other players of his generation, McCaw has shunned all advances to publish 'interim' books about his career. He has always said that he will do just one book ...and now is that time.