Ali, Woods, Senna and McCaw - all part of the Daily Mail's Hall of Fame
James Mortimer 08 Jan 2014 Getty Images
He is ranked alongside Roger Federer, Muhammed Ali, Ayrton Senna, Tiger Woods, Sebastian Cole and Desert Orchid.
The following is highlights of the Mail's write up of the longest serving All Black in Test history.
"The All Blacks were recently described – with considerable justification – as the most successful team in world sport, and Richie McCaw is their most decorated player and captain," the paper wrote.
"On that basis, the flanker who turned 33 on New Year’s Eve is worthy of a place in the rugby pantheon and in MailOnline Sport’s Hall of Fame. He is a player who longevity of success has come to symbolise New Zealand’s dominance of the 15-man code, over several years.
"A handful of stark facts go some way to telling the remarkable tale of McCaw’s career achievements. He is the most capped All Black in history – with 124 full international appearances – and is fourth on the global list; behind George Gregan, Brian O’Driscoll and Ronan O’Gara.
"He led his country to World Cup glory at home in 2011 and last year he became the first player in his sport to participate in 100 Test victories – losing just 12 during that long period. He has captained his national team more times than any other player in the history of the game.
"When he has been skipper – a position he has held full-time since 2006 – New Zealand have won 90 per cent of their matches. While Wayne Shelford didn’t lose a match as captain from 1987-1990, McCaw’s win ratio is greater than anyone else who has served as the Kiwi kingpin for 15 internationals or more.
"As if all that wasn’t enough, there has been a veritable torrent of individual awards over the years too. While those he has repeatedly claimed at home are too numerous to mention, what stands out is that McCaw has been named the IRB’s world Player of the Year a record three times. On five other occasions, he has been short-listed for the prestigious honour.
"Along the way, he has remained a down-to-earth, humble individual who is ill at ease in the glare of fame which accompanies his public profile in New Zealand – where rugby is the national game. He was born in Oamaru in North Otago and grew up in the coastal town before moving to Dunedin at the age of 14, to attend Otago Boys’ High School."
Read more here.
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