Former England fly-half Stuart Barnes and veteran journalist Stephen Jones worked through their candidates and Richie McCaw’s All Blacks legacy was the major talking point in their Sunday Times story.
Barnes listed McCaw at No.1, while Jones – a staunch critic of the All Blacks – sensationally excluded the game’s most capped players of all time.
TOP TENS – test your choice of the best captains ever in rugby, against the rankings of @SBarnesRugby and myself. How come Barnes' number 1 is not in my Top 10? Easy. You are allowed to disagree however. https://t.co/yDsnD9Atte— Stephen Jones (@stephenjones9) March 21, 2020
Both writers were granted a line on each respective list, to which Jones honed in on his colleague’s decision to list McCaw at the top of the pile.
“My colleague Barnes has fallen into the trap of assuming that All Black victories in the McCaw era were down to a captain when in fact, my late grandmother could have led them to the same record,” Jones responded in the Sunday Times.
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McCaw started for his country 141 times from 148 Tests and led his side to 97 wins from 110 matches (89.09%) as captain.
Stuart Barnes’ top 10 test captains: 1 Richie McCaw (NZ), 2 Martin Johnson (England), 3 Jacques Fouroux (France), 4 Siya Kolisi (South Africa), 5 Sean Fitzpatrick (NZ), 6 Jean-Pierre Rives (France), 7 Alun Wyn Jones (Wales), 8 Andrew Slack (Australia), 9 Agustín Pichot (Argentina), 10 Maro Itoje (England)
Stephen Jones’ top 10 test captains: 1 Alun Wyn Jones (Wales), 2 John Dawes (Wales), 3 Martin Johnson (England), 4 Sean Fitzpatrick, 5 Lawrence Dallaglio (England), 6 Siya Kolisi (South Africa), 7 Agustín Pichot (Argentina), 8 John Eales (Australia), 9 Thierry Dusautoir (France), 10 Haralambie Dumitras (Romania)