Five great All Blacks debuts

All Blacks legends debuts WEB

Checking out the footage is a reminder of the impact each player made from their first outings on the international scene, while also leaving room to observe how some of the skills they showed were honed even more across their careers. 

 

None provided more evidence of that than outstanding All Blacks captain and flanker Richie McCaw. His debut, in Ireland in 2001, was notable for his relentless proximity to the ball, his command at the breakdown and his ability to make the right choice when having the ball in space.

 

Little did one of the Irish commentators know just how much the player who he said had a 'phenomenal game', would dominate the game while becoming the most capped All Black and captain by his retirement in 2015.

 

 

First five-eighths Dan Carter's dominance would be more notable on the scoreboard where he became the highest points scorer in world Test rugby with 1598 points. But he made his debut at second five-eighths in 2003 against Wales. That he managed to score 20 points was evidence enough of what a threat he would be over the next 12 years.


Fullback Christian Cullen burst onto the Test scene with a debut hat-trick. But as the YouTube highlights show, that he was able to score one try let alone three after being on the receiving end of a perfectly-timed tackle by Samoan wing Brian Lima, spoke volumes for his guts, while there was also no containing his speed.

 

 

Wing Julian Savea also marked his Test debut in 2012 with a hat-trick of tries, a first against Ireland, but just as impressive as his bullocking running and try-scoring ability was his defence as one tackle on Ireland fullback Rob Kearney could attest.

 

 

First five-eighths Carlos Spencer marked his debut in 1997 against Argentina in one of the more rampant All Blacks victories, by posting 33 points while also having the chance to demonstrate some of his deft touches with the ball in hand.

 

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