READER REPORT:

There'll be one better than McCaw

DANIEL JOHN HAPIMANA
Last updated 08:42 03/01/2013

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Comparing Michael Jones with Richie McCaw is as unfair as comparing Richie McCaw with a player from the year 2032 who will be around 8 or 9 somewhere in New Zealand right now.

Because one thing is for sure - New Zealand will find a better number 7. We did it with Peter Jones, then with Waka Nathan, Tremain and Kirky who we were lucky enough to have around the same time, then after a relative decline in all positions in the 70's and early 80's. Then along came the Iceman - probably the greatest number 7 of all time, certainly in his day. Then we had Kronfeld who was good but not quite in the Jones/McCaw league.

So, as sure as the sun will shine tomorrow - there will be a great, if not greater 7 getting ready for a new year at school as we speak. It's what we do.

It's because of these players that better ones come along. Jones set such a high standard in the position McCaw is the only player that comes close to being the best. McCaw gets top marks for captaincy later in his career, commitment, absolute knowledge of the laws and a fitness drive unmatched by probably any player in history.

Jones gets marks for that 'sprinkling of dust' that some power beyond our comprehension every so often in sport chooses to honour. Talent. An ability to transcend what we think we already know all about in rugby. Athleticism, cunning, speed and anticipation that only few are privileged to own yet alone witness.

Even McCaw, with his three IRB player of the year and four Tremain trophys would admit that. But that's the humilty of the man, and the standard of our game.


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