Man of many matches
The International Rugby Board’s player of the year Richie McCaw, 3, “is a hero to many… establish[ing] himself as one of rugby’s great players,” The New York Times’ Emma Stoney writes. “As a fresh-faced openside flanker, he burst onto the international stage against Ireland in 21 with a man-of-the-match performance, and he has rarely dipped below that standard since. In the past decade, he has stamped his presence indelibly on world rugby, racking up the awards, titles and trophies with his Canterbury provincial team, the Crusaders Super Rugby squad and, of course, the New Zealand All Blacks. “Rugby is fortunate to have a player and person of the calibre of Richie McCaw,” said former Australian captain John Eales, convener of the IRB Awards independent panel of judges.