About Richie McCaw
Richard Hugh "Richie" McCaw (born 31 December 1980 in Oamaru, North Otago) is a professional New Zealand rugby union player. He plays in the openside flanker position for the New Zealand, Crusaders and Canterbury rugby teams. McCaw was raised in rural South Canterbury, before moving to Dunedin in 1994 to board at Otago Boys' High School. In 1999 he moved to Christchurch to study at Lincoln University and was selected in the national under-19 rugby union team. The following year he played for the Under 21s and Canterbury in the National Provincial Championship, before debuting in 2001 for the Crusaders in the Super 14.
McCaw was selected for the 2001 New Zealand National Rugby Teams (known as the All Blacks) end-of-year tour, despite having played only a total of eight minutes of Super 14 rugby. His All Black debut was against Ireland, where he put in a man-of-the-match performance and was selected as New Zealands first choice openside flanker for the 2003 World Cup. In 2004 McCaw suffered a series of concussions that forced him to miss a number of games and put his playing future in doubt. He recovered and in 2006 was named captain of the All Blacks. He led the All Blacks at the 2007 World Cup and his captaincy came under criticism after they were knocked out in the quarter-final. He continued to captain the All Blacks after the world cup and will lead the team into the 2011 Rugby World Cup.
During McCaws rugby career Canterbury has won the NPC (later ITM Cup) five times and the Crusaders have reached the Super Rugby semi-finals nine times, going on to win the final on four of these occasions. The All Blacks have won seven Tri Nations titles, completed three successful Grand Slam tours and won the Bledisloe Cup eight times. In 2010 McCaw played his 100th Super Rugby game, a record equaling 94 tests for his country and became New Zealands most capped All Black captain, leading the side in 57 test matches. He has been named the International Rugby Board (IRB) International Player of The Year a record three times. McCaw is considered one of the best players in his position, with his ability to anticipate play and adapt to the referees rulings considered some of his key attributes. In 2010 his contract was NZ$750,000 per year, making him the equal highest paid player in New Zealand.