All Blacks and Richie No.1

Getty Images     24 Dec 2009     Getty Images

A South African Press Association study of the decade compared the differing fortunes of the All Blacks and the Springboks with the All Blacks have the best win percentage for the decade, and the Springboks ranking only fifth.

South Africa played the most Tests in the decade (125) but won only 76 for a 60.8 percent win ratio.

The All Blacks played 122 Tests and won 100 for an 82 percent win ratio. Ireland was second with 64.9 percent, England had 62.6 and France 61.3.

Any argument that the All Blacks have not done their bit for attacking rugby is easily refuted with the side having scored 133 more tries than the next best attacking side Australia.

The All Blacks scored 526 tries, or 4.31 per Test, while Australia scored 393 (3.2) and South Africa 384 (3.1). Argentina achieved a better try ratio, off fewer Tests having played only 85, of 3.7.

In 24 Tests against South Africa, the All Blacks won 16.

George Smith of Australia played most Tests during the decade with 110. Mils Muliaina played most Tests for New Zealand with 82 while Richie McCaw was second with 80 and Keven Mealamu third with 71.

McCaw played in more victories than any other player in the world with 70 wins, while Muliaina was second with 68. Smith was third on 65.

Daniel Carter was the most prolific points scorer during the decade with 994 points while Jonny Wilkinson was 40 points back. Ronan O'Gara of Ireland and the British and Irish Lions was the only other player to pass 800 points with 929.

Welsh and Lions wing Shane Williams scored most tries with 50, but right on his tail was Doug Howlett with 49 and Joe Rokocoko on 45.

Meanwhile Reuters has rated McCaw the player of the decade.

It said: "To be named the International Rugby Board world player of the year twice would be an impressive enough feat for a free-scoring winger but to achieve that distinction while doing much of your work buried under a pile of bodies shows how highly respected McCaw is at the highest