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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)
Marty Berry came on v Australia at Eden Park in a losing Bledisloe Cup game for just 18 seconds. But his other midweek games for the ABs spread over 7 seasons.
For many years the record for the largest crowd to watch a rugby international was the 95,000 that packed into the old Ellis Park ground in Johannesburg in 1955 to watch the ﬁrst test between South Africa and the British Isles. There were also 95,000 present in Bucharest in May 1957 to see France play Romania, although it should be mentioned that the game was actually played as a curtain raiser to a major soccer match!
A record was thought to have been set at Murrayﬁeld in Edinburgh in 1975, when it was reported that a crowd of 104,000 watched the Wales v Scotland international. However, in the end the ofﬁcial attendance was listed as 80,000.
The biggest total of people to watch a test match in New Zealand is the 61,240 who attended Eden Park in Auckland for the fourth test between New Zealand and South Africa in 1956.
For decades the record attendance for a test match in Australia was the 48,898 who came to see New Zealand play Australia at the Sydney Cricket Ground in the third test of 1980. That total was impressive enough considering the lesser place rugby held in the hearts of the Australian sporting public at the time. However being twice world champions in the 1990s helped the upsurge in popularity of rugby union. Coinciding with the rise in rugby’s significance came the building of much larger sports arenas, most notably for the 2000 Summer Olympic Games.
The latest record total for crowds at a rugby test in Australia therefore also became the world’s best. At Stadium Australia in Sydney on July 15, 2000 with the Bledisloe Cup at stake the All Blacks and the Wallabies played in front of 109,878 fans. A year before on the same ground 107,042 had watched the same two teams in action.
At the other end of the scale, there have been many times when ofﬁcials have been disappointed with the size of crowds that have turned out to see major rugby matches.
Easily the tiniest crowd to watch a signiﬁcant rugby match would have been the few dozen people who stood about on the sidelines of Owl Creek Polo Ground in Glenville, in upstate New York, for the match between USA and South Africa in 1981.
To avoid anti-apartheid protesters and prying news media, the two teams traveled in secret to a destination which only a few ofﬁcials knew about. They also had quietly scheduled the match to begin 24 hours ahead of its planned playing time, and goal-posts were only erected (by the players of both teams) ﬁve minutes before kick-off. When the teams ran on to the sloping, muddy and manure-smelling ﬁeld, 60 state police leapt from unmarked cars to guard the event, but they cannot be claimed as boosters to the total attendance ﬁgure of 25!
Had there been a scoreboard at the ground it would have shown a ﬁnal score of South Africa 38, USA 7. Perhaps this was the only international where there were more points scored than people attending.
One of the South African players in the game, Thys Burger, claims some sort of world record. He says he helped put up the posts; when the game started he acted as touch judge for a time, then he came on to play as a substitute and finished his day by scoring a try between them!
How many All Blacks played for New Zealand in 2013?
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