McCaw makes record appearance

Richie McCaw (AFP)
Richie McCaw (AFP)

Johannesburg - Richie McCaw made a record 134th appearance for New Zealand when he played against South Africa at Ellis Park in Johannesburg on Saturday.

LIVE: Springboks v All Blacks

The 33-year-old All Blacks flanker and skipper overtook Colin Meads, the legendary lock who retired in 1971 after 133 appearances, including 55 Tests.

McCaw was playing his 133rd Test with the other appearance in the famous black strip coming against the Barbarians.

New Zealand coach Steve Hansen praised McCaw on the eve of the Rugby Championship final-round fixture against the Springboks.

"On behalf of myself and the team, I would like to congratulate Richie on the achievement," he said.

"He is a special player who has played each and every one of those games with a huge amount of commitment, passion and mental fortitude.

"This is reflected in his unwavering will to win and shown by the fact that he has won an incredible 89 percent of all his matches."

McCaw debuted for New Zealand against Ireland in 2001, became skipper five years later, and has developed into an all-time great loose forward.

Meads is revered as another of the greatest All Blacks and in 1999 was voted New Zealand Rugby Player of the Century.

In a 15-year international career, the 1.92-metre (6ft 3in) sheep farmer became an iconic figure, adored by his rugby-loving countrymen and respected by all opponents.


Teams:

South Africa
15 Willie le Roux, 14 Cornal Hendricks, 13 Jan Serfontein, 12 Jean de Villiers (captain), 11 Bryan Habana, 10 Handre Pollard, 9 Francois Hougaard, 8 Duane Vermeulen, 7 Teboho Mohoje, 6 Marcell Coetzee, 5 Victor Matfield, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Jannie du Plessis, 2 Bismarck du Plessis, 1 Tendai Mtawarira

Substitutes: 16 Adriaan Strauss, 17 Trevor Nyakane, 18 Marcel van der Merwe, 19 Bakkies Botha, 20 Schalk Burger, 21 Cobus Reinach, 22 Pat Lambie, 23 JP Pietersen

New Zealand
15 Israel Dagg, 14 Ben Smith, 13 Conrad Smith, 12 Malakai Fekitoa, 11 Julian Savea, 10 Beauden Barrett, 9 Aaron Smith, 8 Kieran Reid, 7 Richie McCaw (captain), 6 Jerome Kaino, 5 Sam Whitelock, 4 Jeremy Thrush, 3 Owen Franks, 2 Keven Mealamu, 1 Joe Moody

Substitutes: 16 Dane Coles, 17 Ben Franks, 18 Charlie Faumuina, 19 Steven Luatua, 20 Liam Messam, 21 Tawera Kerr-Barlow, 22 Colin Slade, 23 Ryan Crotty

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