New Zealand’s two-time World Cup-winning captain Richie McCaw was named World Rugby Men’s Player of the Decade at the Special Edition Awards on Monday evening.
The World Rugby Awards Special Edition celebrated members of the rugby family who have provided outstanding service during the Covid-19 pandemic as well as players and teams who have starred over the last decade in a virtual show.
Instead of the traditional awards celebrating performances on the pitch in 2020, supporters had the opportunity to vote for their six favourite Players and Tries of the Decade awards, with the World Rugby Awards’ star-studded panel given the difficult task of selecting two Teams of the Decade.
The Player of the Decade awards were decided on a public vote. Each World Rugby Men’s 15s Player of the Year since 2010, including three-time winners Dan Carter and McCaw and 2019 recipient Pieter-Steph du Toit, were shortlisted for the award.
Other nominees included Kieran Read, Brodie Retallick and Beauden Barrett as well as former France captain Thierry Dusautoir and current Ireland captain Johnny Sexton.
An update provided by World Rugby in October stated Sexton, who was crowned Player of the Year in 2018, was leading the race with 22% of the vote.
However, McCaw was ultimately handed the award on Monday evening.
‘To be able to get an award like this is pretty humbling,’ McCaw, who captained the All Blacks to victory at the 2011 and 2015 World Cup, said.
‘When you’re in a team sport you rely on a good bunch of teammates around you to have any sort of success, so I guess I was lucky for that. And, probably quite lucky [because] I only played half the decade.’
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