New Zealand captain Richie McCaw with France’s Thierry Dusautoir. “If there wasn’t a certain Richie McCaw running around during the same period, Dusautoir would be seen as the dominant guy who has played rugby in that position over a long period,” says New Zealand coach Steve Hansen

A confession: in 2007, embittered after being denied the chance to cover a World Cup quarter-final in Cardiff, I checked out from faux reality to e(...)

Former Springbok prop BJ Botha learned some hard scrummaging lessons early in his career from players like Anton Oliver and Carl Hoeft. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

It was a slightly different festive period for BJ Botha. He had his mum and dad over, albeit flight complications ensured them of a first and last Chr(...)

Jonah Lomu of New Zealand is tackled by Shane Horgan and Brian O’Driscoll of Ireland at Lansdowne Road in 2001. Photograph: Patrick Bolger/Inpho

“Ireland is a pretty significant place for me having played my first Test here . . . ” – Richie McCaw, New Zealand captainOne hundred and twenty two T(...)