Richie McCaw Names His Dream XV And It's Ridiculously Good - Ruck

Richie McCaw Names His Dream XV And It’s Ridiculously Good

Richie McCaw’s dream team of players he’s coached could compete with any team from any generation of rugby.

Looking back through the archives, the 41-year-old saves his praise for only the players he truly admires.

Richie McCaw’s All-Time XV:


  • 15. Christian Cullen (New Zeland)
  • 14. Julian Savea (New Zealand)
  • 11. Jonah Lomu (New Zealand)

McCawon Lomu: “When I first became an All Black he was in the team. To play alongside a guy you have watched as a young fella was pretty amazing. He made me look silly in training more than once.

“He is one of the absolute superstars of rugby. If you go to somewhere where rugby is perhaps not well known then the one guy they do know is Jonah. It’s really sad that he’s passed away at age 40. He was a legend of the All Blacks and a legend of rugby.:


  • 13. Ma’a Nonu (New Zealand)
  • 12. Jonny Wilkinson (England)

McCaw on Wilkinson: “He’ll go down as one of the greats of world rugby.”


  • 10. Dan Carter (New Zealand)
  • 9. Aaron Smith (New Zealand)

McCaw on Carter: “There are a lot of good players but the guys who did it for a long time and that I’ve been lucky to play with is Dan Carter. In the final, he was sensational and he’s been great for a long time. So to be able to play with him for the years I’ve been playing was pretty cool.”


  • 1. Tony Woodcock (New Zealand)
  • 2. Dane Coles (New Zealand)
  • 3. Olo Brown (New Zealand)

McCaw on Woodcock: “If you’re looking for a night out, stay away from Tony Woodcock or go and see Tony Woodcock. He’s been on the same team as me since I was 18, we played in age grade together.”


  • 4. Paul O’Connell (Ireland)
  • 5. Brodie Retallick (New Zealand)


  • 6. Richard Hill (England)
  • 7. Schalk Burger (South Africa)
  • 8. George Smith (Australia)
Scorer of the winning try Fourie du Preez (South Africa, captain, 9) celebrates at the final whistle with Schalk Burger (South Africa). South Africa v Wales. Quarter Final 1. Rugby World Cup 2015. Twickenham Stadium. London. England. UK. PHOTO: Mandatory by-line: Garry Bowden/SIPPA/Pinnacle – Tel: +44(0)1363 881025 – Mobile:0797 1270 681 – VAT Reg No: 183700120 – 171015

McCaw on Hill: “Extremely gifted player who had all the ability in the world. When England needed someone to dig in he was your man. He had the full tool bag and quietly got on with it.”

McCaw on Smith: Speaking in a Q+A with World Rugby, McCaw’s revealed former Wallabies flanker George Smith as the one he feared most on the field, saying Smith “was always pretty tough”.

“I remember playing him when I was in the under 19s against Australia and remember then thinking just what a good player he is.”

McCaw on Burger: “You can come up against another tough team but never feel like you have had a tough match against your opposite. But with Burger you knew where they are going to be and how hard they play near the ball.”

Richie McCaw singles out England legend as one the ‘all-time best flankers’

All Blacks legendary captain Richie McCaw has named an England flanker as one of his toughest ever opponents.

The two-time Rugby World Cup winner has ranked the top five flankers he came up against during his career – starting with France’s legendary captain Thierry Dusautoir.

5. Thierry Dusautoir (France)

  • Position Back-row
  • Height 6 ft 2 in
  • Weight 218 lb
  • Caps 80

Dusautoir made his international debut against Romania in 2006 before making a name for himself the following year when France stunned New Zealand 20-18 in the World Cup quarter-finals. 

The former France skipper also scored a try and was named man of the match in the 2011 World Cup final when New Zealand avenged their defeat of four years earlier with an 8-7 win in the final.

Richie McCaw said: “Over the years I’ve played him a few times and you always know he’s there,” said McCaw of Dusautoir. “He was always pretty big defensively and in the breakdown area. A menace”

DID YOU KNOW? He broke the record for most tackles in a match, making 38 tackles against the All Blacks in the 2007 World Cup