Richie McCaw has recalled a classy moment he and Ireland’s David Wallace shared after his first ever game for the All Blacks.
McCaw is regarded by many as the best player of all time, having captained his country to two Rugby World Cup triumphs during a career that spanned 14 years, in which he amassed 148 caps.
He first played for the All Blacks back in November 2001 against Ireland at Lansdowne Road, in an entertaining game which saw Ireland lead by 14 points shortly after half time, before New Zealand fought back to win 40-29.
Richie McCaw on his first All Blacks game.
The New Zealand Rugby great was speaking on the All Blacks podcast and revealed he regards that game at Lansdowne Road as his most memorable occasion in international rugby.
“I can remember it pretty clearly. I often get asked, ‘What’s the most memorable game you had as an All Black?’ It’s quite hard because when you’re able to win tournaments its hugely special,” McCaw explained.
“But the one that sits ahead of the rest is the day you become an All Black, where the dream you had growing up actually becomes a reality. Once you put that jersey on, no one can ever take that away from you. So that was probably the most special time.”
🎧 Double Rugby World Cup winner Richie McCaw joins the show to reflect on his Test debut against Ireland in 2001 and look forward to the #SteinlagerSeries.
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David Wallace’s classy gesture.
McCaw lined up opposite David Wallace in that game, who had only been playing international rugby for a little more than a year himself at that point.
Wallace gave McCaw his jersey after the match, but didn’t ask the New Zealander for his in return, as he knew how special a first test jersey is to a player.
“I have a lot of time for the Irish around how they approach life, but certainly their rugby. The rugby people love the game just like we do,” McCaw said.
“The one memory I do have is I played against David Wallace, who after the game came up and I thought he wanted to swap jerseys, and there was no way that I was going to swap.
“And he said, ‘No I understand that you don’t want to swap it. Here’s my jersey for you just to keep.’ Which I thought was pretty cool.”
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