Richie McCaw’s impressive career is, for many, as commendable as – if not more noticeable – Colin Meads’ achievements. He made his debut in All Blacks in 2001 and has won 32% of the team’s victory throughout his life. McCaw is also known for a total of 148 tests in his career and the national team captain into two World Cup Rugby victories.
George Nepia was only 19 when he was selected to take part in the 1901-25 Invincibles tour of England and France. Not only did Nepia play fullback in all 30 matches of this tour (something unheard of at the moment), he also played another two games on the way home. He played the final test match in 1930 after being banned from visiting South Africa for his Maori people.
The former All Blacks player, Dan Carter, is considered by many to be one of the first eight-year-olds (or half) of all time. He is known for possessing all qualities of a good player: incredible speed, superior strength, a dangerous step forward, and a tactical approach to scoring his reliable goal. Carter played for New Zealand from 2003 to 2015, and was selected as the Player of the Year three times.
Rugby successfully runs in the family of Sean Fitzpatrick; his father, Brian Fitzpatrick, played with All Blacks 22 times between 1951 and 1954. When he debuted in 1986, the young Fitzpatrick became one of the all-time favorites. He became captain of the All Blacks in 1992 and led the team to victory against the English Lions a year later. By the time he retired in 1997, Fitzpatrick had appeared in more international matches than any other player in the world. He has been working in the UK since 2004, where he worked as a sports commentator and public speaker.
Michael Jones is famous in part for the infamous injury that gave him his nickname (The Iceman), and also partly because he is an ‘almost perfect’ football player with destructive defenses and Praising ball skills. A knee injury in a match against Argentina nearly threatened to cut Jones’ career short, but he persisted through a decade of play before calling it a day. The great rugby has recently been knighted for its constant efforts in the yard to return to its community and help disadvantaged Maori and Pacific youths.
Wayne ‘Buck’ Shelford
Shelford’s time in the experimental football was not long – he had only accumulated 22 caps – but it had a strong impact on New Zealand rugby. He commanded all blacks on a 14-game victory in the late 1980s. When he was replaced as captain in 1990, the public outcry was immediate – in fact, The phrase ‘Bring Back Buck’ originally appeared on the occasion. Shelford is also credited with making Ka Mate haka what it is today: a consistent and memorable pre-match tradition.
Before all blacks, there was the original. The Irish player, Dave Gallaher, is the captain who led this team into New Zealand’s first foray into international rugby. Under Gallaher, Originals won 34 of the 35 matches of the British, French and North American Islands tours. The death of the brothers during World War I led Gallaher back to Europe and volunteered for the army. He was seriously injured during the battle on October 17, 1917.