A player like Richie McCaw comes along once in a lifetime… The Open Side will define that player. Rarely has a New Zealand biography been so eagerly anticipated. Superbly crafted, brilliantly insightful, and set to inspire people for generations to come.
From the time his father told him as a child that ‘he would enjoy his rugby more if he got fitter’, Richard Hugh McCaw never looked back. Captain of the All Blacks since 2006, he is the face of rugby in New Zealand and one of our best-known and most admired figures. He has been named International Player of the Year three times and is considered the greatest player of his generation, and quite possibly the finest loose forward of all time. But what do we know of Richie the person and what drives him? In The Open Side, he reveals his passions and motivations, on and off the field. Teamed with Greg McGee, one of our great contemporary writers — and a man who himself is no stranger to rugby culture — the two have produced an outstanding book. The Open Side delves into the inner McCaw, the defining events and people in his life, as well as providing insight into the modern game and its professional players and coaches — including frank comment on the Deans–Henry debate. Richie’s leadership has had a huge impact on the team, and The Open Side traces his rise from fresh-faced Under 19 squad member in 1999 to hardened 100-cap veteran in 2011. As a participant in three Rugby World Cups, Richie describes the agony of defeat in 2007, and the four years of ‘living in a tunnel’ before clawing his way to ‘the light’ of a dramatic victory with the All Blacks in the 2011 final.