Is McCaw really the greatest? Six reasons why

Last updated 05:00 27/12/2012
Richie McCaw
OUR LEADER: All Black captain Richie McCaw.

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These five things describe why Richie McCaw rates as the best rugby player of all time:

1. Longevity: To last this long, in arguably the most physically demanding position, speaks volumes of his toughness and durability. His level of play is always of the highest quality. He's just a freakishly good player.

2. Skill: Technically McCaw  is the most precise in all disciplines needed to be an effective modern-day flank forward - tackler, fetcher, support player at cleanout and tackle area, effective runner in space, and in traffic, try scorer.

3. Adaptable: McCaw has consistently adapted and re-adapted his play to cope with referee interpretations, rule changes, professionalism and increases in physical demands.

4. Leadership: He has learned and has inspired the All Blacks, the Crusaders, and Canterbury to unprecedented levels of success. He has brought his tactical appreciation of the game up to and on a par with his technical excellence.

5. Mana: Three IRB player of the year awards and four New Zealand player of the years awards say it all. McCaw is respected by all - team mates and opposition. He doesn't react to extreme physical provocation. He holds the ideals and ethos of the game in high regard.

6. Humility: McCaw has this in buckets. He has an understated grace, charm and old-world manner. His men and the country would follow him anywhere.

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