Richie McCaw played against some great players during his 148 cap test career, writes the Pundit Arena.


Having began his test career in 2001, Richie McCaw played against some great players and teams during his 14 years playing international rugby.

Not only was he part of the All Black side that struggled against Australia during the early part of the 2000s, but a member of the New Zealand team that lost at home to England in 2003. Therefore you might expect the legendary flanker to pick either of those sides as being the best team he ever played against

Indeed, considering that England went onto to win the World Cup that year with players such as Jonny Wilkinson, Lawrence Dallaglio, Martin Johnson and Jason Robinson playing at the peak of their powers, and Australia were fielding the likes of George Greegan, Chris Latham, George Smith and Matt Giteau, McCaw would have been forgiven for selecting either of those teams.

However the former New Zealand flanker surprised some by selecting the 2009 Springbok team. Nevertheless, it is worth remembering that in 2009, South Africa defeated the All Blacks on three occasions during the Tri Nations.

Not only did Peter de Villiers’s team dominated All Blacks with powerful for forwards such as Schalk Burger, Victor Matfield, Bakkies Botha, John Smit, Bismarck du Plessis and Tendai Mtawarira, but hit them in the wider channels with Bryan Habana, Jean de Villiers and François Steyn.

It’s hard to top that.

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  1. Great player – and extremely humble – was in our office yesterday for some photos with staff! Also interesting to note the World Cup team that Graham Henry picked – lots of Bokke in that (including Joost as best scrumhalve…). Which again proved to me that we have all the talent – what is hampering our world dominance is amateur management and inbred blinkered coaches (why we needed some external blood into the mix – would still love if AC picks one or 2 “consultants” to help him shape the Bok future).

  2. Who authored this article for “Pundit Arena”?
    As far as authorship goes, its an utter dereliction of duty.
    THE difference in the 09 team was the real ” Honey Badger ” Heinrich Brussouw.
    Graham Henry was moaning about ending kicks in rugby he blasted them so bad. Twas a B-52 style thumping.
    What a great team!

  3. Bunny –
    Can you please lobby pundit arena ( they don’t even deserve caps at this point) for a correction & apology?
    Thanks in advance

  4. Yip these kiwis I’ve always liked, they know their stuff. That 2009 team was brilliant even better with Bismarck over smit and willem Alberts

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