Nicholas Jones

Nicholas Jones is the New Zealand Herald’s education reporter.

All Blacks: Richie grabs 100th test cap and thanks mum

Richie McCaw hugs his mother, Margaret McCaw, at Eden Park after being presented with his 100th test cap. Photo / Sarah Ivey
Richie McCaw hugs his mother, Margaret McCaw, at Eden Park after being presented with his 100th test cap. Photo / Sarah Ivey

When All Black captain Richie McCaw ran out on to Eden Park for the Rugby World Cup match against the French in his 100th test on Saturday night, no one in the crowd would have been prouder than his mother.

Margaret McCaw had travelled from Christchurch with her family for a milestone that was a standout even in a career as glittering as her son's.

McCaw was joined on Eden Park by Margaret, father Donald and sister Jo Spencer-Bower after receiving a special silver cap from former NZRU chairman Jock Hobbs after the match.

Margaret McCaw said they were "incredibly proud" of their son - test rugby's 19th centurion but New Zealand's first.

"It was a real milestone that we were so happy to share with him.

"What really struck us was how many people stayed behind in the crowd to watch him get capped, and that made us realise how much he means to New Zealanders."

The fact that Hobbs chose to make a rare public appearance as he continues to battle leukaemia was special, she said. "We know Jock as a friend from way back, and it was really special that he was there as Richard admires him greatly, and was really honoured that he was the one to present his cap."

After the match, won 37-17 by the All Blacks, McCaw said he needed time to let the achievement sink in.

"I'm quite happy about that to be honest but it's hard to think too much about personal milestones in a tournament like this.

"You have to take a moment like that to reflect on that.

"I guess personally it was nice to be out there in a big test match like that, to tick that one off. It's a special memory I'll have."

All Blacks legend Sir Brian Lochore, who presented McCaw with his test jersey before the match, said no one deserved the milestone more than McCaw.

"Not only is he a great player but he is a fine person as well."

NZRU chairman Mike Eagle said everything about the milestone was right - from the player to the occasion.

"With 127 years of All Blacks history, and 1109 names on the All Blacks scroll, it is fitting that one of our most successful All Black captains is the first to reach this significant milestone.

"This achievement is particularly special as we celebrate it with him in a Rugby World Cup tournament played on New Zealand soil."

- NZ Herald

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