Although McCaw retired from international rugby in 2015, his achievements in the first half of the decade were enough to lead him to the coveted title. McCaw captained the All Blacks to their first Rugby World Cup triumph in 24 years when they lifted the crown on home soil in 2011. Four years later, McCaw again lifted the William Webb Ellis trophy again when the All Blacks made it back-to-back titles.
Other nominees for the New Zealand Sportsman of the Decade were; Mahe Drysdale (rowing), Scott Dixon (motorsport), Brendon McCullum (cricket), Kane Williamson (cricket), Tom Walsh (athletics) and Israel Adesanya (mixed martial arts).
Halberg Award Winners of the decade
Halberg Award (the ‘supreme’ award) Decade Champion: Hamish Bond and Eric Murray (rowing)
Sportsman of the Decade: Richie McCaw (rugby)
Sportswoman of the Decade: Lisa Carrington (canoe racing)
Para Athlete of the Decade: Sophie Pascoe (Para swimming)
Team of the Decade: Hamish Bond and Eric Murray (rowing)
Coach of the Decade: Gordon Walker (canoe racing)
Emerging Talent Athlete of the Decade: Lydia Ko (golf)
New Zealand’s Favourite Sporting Moment of the Decade: Nathan Cohen and Joseph Sullivan (rowing)
The Sport New Zealand Leadership Award: Johanna Wood (football)