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Rugby: Ex-New Zealand skipper McCaw crowned Men's 15s Player of the Decade

Rugby: Ex-New Zealand skipper McCaw crowned Men's 15s Player of the Decade

Former New Zealand captain Richie McCaw inside Tokyo Stadium before the match between Japan and Russia at the 2019 Rugby World Cup on Sep 20, 2019. (File photo: Reuters/Matthew Childs)

DUBLIN: New Zealand's two-time Rugby World Cup-winning captain Richie McCaw was named Men's 15s Player of the Decade by World Rugby on Monday (Dec 7).

McCaw, who led the All Blacks to back-to-back World Cup titles in 2011 and 2015, saw off competition from former team-mates Dan Carter, Kieran Read, Brodie Retallick and Beauden Barrett, as well as France's Thierry Dusautoir, Ireland's Johnny Sexton and South African Pieter-Steph du Toit.

Seven New Zealand players, including Owen Franks, Sam Whitelock and Ma'a Nonu, also feature in the team of the decade, which boasts a total of 1,637 test caps.

France fullback Jessy Tremouliere, who was part of the team that won the country's fourth Women's Six Nations title in 2014, was named Women's 15s Player of the Decade.

Black Ferns' Portia Woodman took home the Women's Sevens Player of the Decade award while Fiji's Olympic champion Jerry Tuwai claimed the men's prize.

Woodman also won the Women's 15s Try of the Decade award for her effort against the United States in the semi-final of the 2017 World Cup. Jamie Heaslip's stunning 80m try for Ireland against Italy in the 2016 Six Nations was voted the best men's 15s try of the last 10 years.

"The rugby heroes featured in the ceremony and all the others that provided outstanding service during the pandemic are an inspiration to us all," World Rugby Chairman Bill Beaumont said.

"I would like to congratulate all tonight's recipients for their outstanding contribution to our game over the last decade, and for some of them, for many years to come."

MEN'S 15S TEAM OF THE DECADE

Tendai Mtawarira (South Africa), Bismarck du Plessis (South Africa), Owen Franks (New Zealand), Brodie Retallick (New Zealand), Sam Whitelock (New Zealand), David Pocock (Australia), Richie McCaw (New Zealand), Sergio Parisse (Italy), Conor Murray (Ireland), Dan Carter (New Zealand), Bryan Habana (South Africa), Ma'a Nonu (New Zealand), Brian O'Driscoll (Ireland), George North (Wales), Ben Smith (New Zealand)

WOMEN'S 15S TEAM OF THE DECADE

Rochelle Clark (England), Fiao'o Faamausili (New Zealand), Sophie Hemming (England), Eloise Blackwell (New Zealand), Tamara Taylor (England), Linda Itunu (New Zealand), Maggie Alphonsi (England), Safi N'Diaye (France), Kendra Cocksedge (New Zealand), Katy Daley-Mclean (England), Portia Woodman (New Zealand), Kelly Brazier (New Zealand), Emily Scarratt (England), Lydia Thompson (England), Danielle Waterman (England)

Source: Reuters/kg

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