Richie McCaw was "relieved" to miss Chicago loss

The former New Zealand captain never lost to Ireland

BY Daniel Kelly 10:29 Wednesday 1 February 2017, 10:29 1 Feb 2017

Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/James Crombie

In November 2001, Richie McCaw made his New Zealand debut in Lansdowne Road against Ireland.

The two-time World Cup-winning captain would play against Ireland a further 13-times without losing. Those 14 Test matches saw the All Blacks win 14-times.

McCaw retired from rugby, after New Zealand won the 2015 Rugby World Cup. The next time, Ireland and New Zealand met, it was Joe Schmidt's side who won. It remains their only win over the reigning World Champions.

The 36-year-old told The Daily Telegraph that he was delighted not to be part of that team, that suffered New Zealand's first ever loss to Ireland, despite watching on from the Soldier Field stands.

"In a real selfish way I was relieved I wasn’t out there at the final whistle because that would not have been enjoyable in any way," McCaw admitted. "Some of the skill and tries that the All Blacks have produced have been a step up from what I was involved in, but Ireland managed to stop those moments and made it tight. When they got one or two chances, they were nailing them."

Despite being based in New Zealand, McCaw will be keeping an eye on the Six Nations. He expects either Ireland or England to win, with the game between the two teams in Dublin on the final day being crucial to the outcome.

"I would be surprised if it didn’t come down to that game. It will be really tough for the English if they get to that point with their record intact. There will be a lot of pressure on them and the Irish would love to knock them over. Wouldn’t that be an amazing day?"

McCaw's career remains one of the best in Test history. In 148 matches, a New Zealand team that involved McCaw only lost on 15 occasions. Only three of those came against Northern Hemisphere opposition.

Off The Ball


The very best bits of Off The Ball delivered every week