McCaw our best ever, says Hansen

TO THE VICTORS: Steve Hansen and Richie McCaw pose with the Webb Ellis Cup after victory in the World Cup final at Twickenham Stadium on October 31, 2015 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo: Phil Walter/Getty Images.
TO THE VICTORS: Steve Hansen and Richie McCaw pose with the Webb Ellis Cup after victory in the World Cup final at Twickenham Stadium on October 31, 2015 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo: Phil Walter/Getty Images. Phil Walter

All Blacks head coach Steve Hansen lauded his captain Richie McCaw as the "greatest player in New Zealand's history" after seeing his skipper lead the side to a second consecutive World Cup triumph.

Hansen said while it was not up to him to decide if this crop of All Blacks were the greatest to have played the game as a team, he gave McCaw his seal of approval.

"With regards to whether it's the greatest team, that's for others to decide," he said. "For the players, I know a bit more about them and yes, he probably is the greatest All Black we've ever had, and Dan (Carter) is a close second.

"The only thing that probably separates them is that one's a flanker, and he shouldn't play 148 Tests as a flanker, that's unheard of.

"You put your body on the line every time you play there and there was a lot of talk going into this game about the loose-forward trio and, without wanting to be disrespectful to the others who played really well, I thought our trio won that battle, and McCaw was the leader of our trio."

Carter was deservedly named man of the match. The fly-half contributed 19 points that included a drop goal and penalty that took the wind out of Australia's sails when it had hit back from being 21-3 down to trail by just four points.

In his last appearance before heading to club rugby in France, Carter also made the most tackles of any New Zealander with 12.

"I'm pretty grateful to be where I am," he said.

"After four years ago, having to sit and watch my team-mates play in the final, to win is a dream come true."



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