Sport Rugby

Thursday 29 September 2016

McCaw says a stylish goodbye

New Zealand 41-13 Australia

Published 16/08/2015 | 02:30

Richie McCaw on a lap of honour after the All Blacks retained the Bledisloe Cup with victory over Australia in Auckland yesterday. Photo: Fiona Goodall
Richie McCaw on a lap of honour after the All Blacks retained the Bledisloe Cup with victory over Australia in Auckland yesterday. Photo: Fiona Goodall

Record-breaking New Zealand captain Richie McCaw paid tribute to the "absolute champions" alongside him after his likely farewell appearance on home soil.

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The All Blacks retained the Bledisloe Cup with a thumping win over Australia at Eden Park in McCaw's 142nd Test - taking him beyond Brian O'Driscoll as the most capped player of all time. They now head to a World Cup which is set to be the last hurrah for McCaw and the likes of Ma'a Nonu - who signed off with a rampaging two-try display, Dan Carter and Conrad Smith. Smith was also on the scoresheet while Carter kicked 16 points.

"The jersey means a whole lot but the people that fill it up are the ones that put all that effort and energy in," said McCaw.

"I've been so lucky, and I think those guys will agree,to have each other side by side to go through the tough times and the good times.Those men have all given a huge amount and our success has come from their attitude and their talent."

McCaw made his debut in 2001 and has captained his country at three World Cups, finally lifting the Webb Ellis Cup in 2011. He has also been named IRB international player of the year on three occasions - 2006, 2009 and 2010 - but remained humble as he was honoured in front of a crowd of 48,457.

"The first day I pulled on this jersey, I didn't want to let it down - I wanted to add to the legacy and still tonight that was the goal," he said.

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