New Zealand captain Richie McCaw lifts the Webb Ellis trophy after beating Australia during the Rugby Union 2015 World Cup final at Twickenham in London

Richie McCaw, who captained New Zealand to two Rugby World Cup triumphs and was one of the best players ever to grace the game, has brought an end to (...)

Workers at Auckland International Airport perform a haka in honour of the All Blacks, who returned to New Zealand with the Webb Ellis cup. Photograph: TVNZ/AFP/Getty Images

Thousands of fans turned out at Auckland airport yesterday to welcome home the World Cup-winning All Blacks. Ground crew for national carrier Air New (...)

New Zealand celebrating in Twickenham after winning the World Cup. For all of Dan Carter’s magnificence, Ma’a Nonu was the key figure in delivering tries.Photograph: AFP Photo /Franck Fife

How will this World Cup be remembered? That question must be viewed from two perspectives – the champions and Ireland’s – because each provides vastly(...)

New Zealand captain Richie McCaw lifts the Webb Ellis Cup following his side’s victory over Australia in the World Cup final at Twickenham. Photograph: Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

That was the 2015 World Cup that was, and by any yardstick, it was the best so far. Record tickets, record television audiences, the revenue target of(...)

Japan players celebrate their momentous victory over South Africa in the pool section – the Brave Blossoms missed out on a place in the quarter-finals but won the hearts of the rugby world. Photograph: Getty Images

Gerry Thornley Match of the tournament? Spoilt for choice. Japan provided the best finish, Australia v Argentina was the most breathless, but t(...)

New Zealand captain Richie McCaw and Dan Carter  with the Webb Ellis Cup after the All Blacks’ victory over  Australia at Twickenham. Photograph: Phil Walter/Getty Images

Not like this. That’s what Dan Carter thought when writhing in agony on home soil four years ago. It can’t end at a training session on the eve of the(...)

Kieran Read and his captain Richie McCaw raise the William Webb Ellis trophy into the air at Twickenham. Photograph: Billy Stickland/Inpho

Back-to-back World Cups with perhaps the greatest team of all time. How to follow that, especially on foot of five of the great All Blacks individu(...)

So close: Australia’s head coach Michael Cheika  walks past the the Webb Ellis Cup after Saturday’s final. Photograph: Franck Fife/AFP/Getty Images

Australia come out of this World Cup a stronger force than they went in. New Zealand are automatically weakened by the loss of Richie McCaw, Dan Carte(...)

Dan Carter (centre) has been named the World Rugby player of the year for 2015. New Zealand won the team award. Photograph:  Glyn Kirk/AFP

New Zealand outhalf Dan Carter has followed up his man-of-the-match performance in Saturday’s World Cup final by being crowned World Rugby player of t(...)

New Zealand’s fullback Ben Smith  passes to his captain Richie McCaw during World Cup final against Australia at Twickenham. Photograph: Franck Fife/AFP/Getty Images

Did you spot all those tricolours in Twickenham? The ultimate triumph of hope over Argentina. In the end our people had to make do with being neutral (...)