Thinking and talking about rugby every day for 50+ years
21 December 2015
WHO HAS HELD THE ALL BLACK RECORD FOR 'MOST TESTS?' From the start of the ABs until now.
[WITH THE 2015 RETIREMENT OF RICHIE McCAW THE PROGRESSION AND COMPARISON OF HIS DOMINANCE OF ALL BLACK CAPTAINCY RECORDS IS NOW WORTH PLACING INTO PERPETUITY. It might even be said with some surety that McCaw's record of 148 tests played, with 110 as captain will never be broken]
[These records are taken from Keith Quinn's 2015 book 'Quinn's Whims.']
Any discussion about which players have held the records for most appearances for the All Blacks should have two main starting categories;
1) Most Appearances on the field in any match,
and 2) Most Test matches.
Here we note the 'rise of Richie' in terms of the number of test matches he has played - as against the number of games available to the great players of earlier years.
For the purposes of this record it is widely accepted that the start-off point for record-keeping for the 'first' All Blacks' test match totals should start in New Zealand in 1903 and for 'all matches' from the first major overseas tour to UK and France in 1905-06.
From the 1905-06 team one man Fred Roberts, the half-back, played 51 times between 1905 and 1910 to equal the mark set by his contemporary, Billy Wallace who had made his All Black debut in 1903 and finished his international career in 1908.
The pair's total of 51 appearances (in both tests and midweek games) stood until Maurice Brownlie concluded his career in 1928. By then Brownlie had taken the record for most appearances to 61 games. But the record for most test matches remained with Billy Wallace at 11 to the end of his (Wallace's) career in 1908. Fred Roberts passed that total in 1910.
The progression of Billy Wallace's record total of 11 test matches was not so well-recorded as significant back in the 1920s etc but it is in modern times by far the most significant record now.
Watch how the early- historical totals compare to that of modern players;
11 Billy Wallace 1903- 1908 (He reached the 'first' final record total in the New Zealand v Anglo-Welsh team (2nd test) in Wellington in 1908.
12 Fred Roberts 1915-1910 (He passed Billy Wallace's total of 11 in the New Zealand v Australia (3rd test) in Sydney in 1910. Roberts did not go past 12 test matches.
13 Ron King 1934-1938 (He passed Fred Robert's total of 12 tests in the New Zealand v Australia (3rd tests) in Sydney in 1938. King did not go past 13 test matches.
14 Kevin Skinner 1949-56 (He passed Ron King's total of 13 test matches in the New Zealand v Wales game in Cardiff in 1953. Skinner added to his test record until he reached 18 test matches in 1954.
19 Richard 'Tiny' White 1949-1956 (He passed Kevin Skinner's total of 18 tests in the New Zealand v Australia game in Auckland in 1955. White added to his record until he reached 23 test matches in 1956.)
24 both Ian (1953-63) and Don Clarke (1956-64) (They both equalled White's 23 tests at Eden Park in the same game; New Zealand v England 1st test 1963 and then they both passed Richard 'Tiny' White's total of 23 tests in the same game; New Zealand v England 2nd test in Christchurch in 1963.
[Therefore the two brothers shared the All Black test record [at 24 tests] for five months until Don Clarke went ahead of Ian's 24 when Don appeared in his 25th test v Ireland in Dublin in 1963.]
Don Clarke then added to his record until he reach 31 test matches in 1964.
32 Colin Meads 1957-1971 (He passed Don Clarke's total of 31 test matches in the New Zealand v South Africa (3rd test) in Christchurch 1965. Meads added to his record until he reached 55 test matches in 1971.
56 Gary Whetton 1981-1991 (He passed Colin Meads' total of 55 test matches in the New Zealand v Canada Rugby World Cup match at Lille, France in 1991. Whetton added to his record until he reached 58 test matches in 1991.
59 John Kirwan 1984-1994 (He passed Gary Whetton's total of 58 test matches in the New Zealand v France (1st test) in Christchurch in 1994. Kirwan added to his record until he reached 63 test matches in 1994.
64 Sean Fitzpatrick 1986-1997. (He passed John Kirwan's total of 59 test matches in the New Zealand v Ireland Rugby World Cup match at Johannesburg in 1995. Fitzpatrick added to the record until he reached 92 test matches in 1997.
93 Richie McCaw 2001- 2014 and Mils Muliaina 2003-2011 both passed Sean Fitzpatrick's total of 92 test matches on the same day; New Zealand v Ireland in Dublin in 2010.
[In the season which followed both players reached 98 test matches together as the shared All Black test record-holders. Their final totals 'together' were reached at the New Zealand v Australia match at Brisbane in 2011.]
Richie McCaw went past Mils Muliaina's total of 98 test matches and became the record holder on his own in the New Zealand v Tonga Rugby World Cup match at Auckland in 2011. Thus 99 test matches became the new record for McCaw.
[NOTE; McCaw's 100th test was achieved in the New Zealand v France Rugby World Cup Pool match at Auckland in 2011.]
[NOTE II: McCaw's 100th test match as captain of the All Blacks was achieved in the New Zealand v Wales match in Cardiff in 2014.]
148 is the final total of test matches for the All Blacks played by Richie McCaw. Thus the total of 148 test matches to the end of the 2015 Rugby World Cup is the on-going new All Black test appearances record. That total was reached by McCaw at the end of the 2015 Rugby World Cup final.
110 is McCaw's final total of test matches as captain of the All Blacks. That was also achieved at the 2015 Rugby World Cup final match v Australia.
by Keith Quinn (with thanks to Roger Moses)
Epic early words in the game uttered by Springbok captain Phillip Nel to the referee at Eden Park as South Africa win the test series by thrashing NZ by 5 tries to 0 (17-6).
Heriot’s FP, Leicester, and Scotland
27 internationals for Scotland 1957–65
5 internationals for British Isles 1959
A brilliant runner and tactical wizard of Scottish rugby, Kenneth Scotland became much more than the man who played for the country of his name. He was a player who was years; decades even, ahead of his time. As a rugby country, New Zealand in particular could not believe his style of play when he toured there with the British Isles in 1959. Only with the advantage of hindsight was Ken Scotland recognised as being a rugby genius.
Ken Scotland eventually equaled the Scottish record for caps won by a fullback (25 caps, along with Dan Drysdale), but he could cope in any position in the backline. He was a scrumhalf too, (playing two important games in that position in New Zealand for the Lions in 1959). He was also flyhalf (two caps when captaining Scotland in 1963) and a centre (two games for the Lions in 1959, including the fourth test won at Auckland).
Only slightly built, he was a running fullback years before Andy Irvine, Serge Blanco, David Campese and others revolutionised that previously ‘steady’ position. Ken Scotland set new standards as a counter-attacker and back line intruder, and did it superbly.
New Zealanders in particular marvelled at his running brilliance. In the first match of the Lions tour he showed Kiwi fans what he’d been showing British crowds for a couple of years. Scotland ran in three successive tries from fullback against Hawkes Bay in the tour opener and scored 10 tries in all on tour.
Scotland was also an innovative goal-kicker. Though he could kick straight-on using the toe, he also experimented successfully with the round-the-corner style and was one of the first players anywhere to perfect the method. He was also expert at drop-kicking for goal.
He was educated at George Heriot’s School in Edinburgh, one of a series of international fullbacks to emerge from that school (including Dan Drysdale and Andy Irvine). Scotland made his international debut against France in Paris in 1957, scoring all the points for his side as it won 6–0. It was the first time in 19 years that a Scot had achieved such a feat.
He suffered a loss of form in 1958 but by 1959 was back in favour and in the Lions team on tour ‘down under’. From then he was a first choice for his country until 1963. His last international was against France in 1965.
What caused confusion for the TV reporters when the All Blacks 1987 Rugby World Cup team was announced on live TV in Whangarei, New Zealand?