Kolisi but no McCaw in list of top 10 Test captains

Two-time World Cup-winning All Blacks captain Richie McCaw has failed to make British rugby writer Stephen Jones' list of the best ever skippers.

However, McCaw was ranked at No 1 in the list of Jones' Sunday Times colleague Stuart Barnes.

'Barnes has fallen into the trap of assuming that All Blacks victories in the McCaw era were down to a captain when in fact, my late grandmother could have led them to the same record,' wrote Jones, who picked Wales captain Alun-Wyn Jones at No 1.

'The great man's leadership and performance levels have become almost mystical,' he explained.

'His driving energy and towering, looming presence was the inspiration behind the Wales Grand Slam of 2019 and also ensured that they were highly competitive in the World Cup, just one score away from the final.

'His ability to play in one of the least-intellectual positions on the field and yet be a rugby intellectual is unmatched.'

World Cup-winning Springbok captain Siya Kolisi was selected by both writers, but there was no place for Francois Pienaar or John Smit, who also lifted the Webb Ellis Cup for South Africa.

Stephen Jones' top 10 Test captains - 1 Alun Wyn Jones (Wales), 2 John Dawes (Wales), 3 Martin Johnson (England), 4 Sean Fitzpatrick, 5 Lawrence Dallaglio (England), 6 Siya Kolisi (South Africa), 7 Agustin Pichot (Argentina), 8 John Eales (Australia), 9 Thierry Dusautoir (France), 10 Haralambie Dumitras (Romania).

Stuart Barnes' top 10 Test captains - 1 Richie McCaw (New Zealand), 2 Martin Johnson (England), 3 Jacques Fouroux (France), 4 Siya Kolisi (South Africa), 5 Sean Fitzpatrick (New Zealand), 6 Jean-Pierre Rives (France), 7 Alun Wyn Jones (Wales), 8 Andrew Slack (Australia), 9 Agustin Pichot (Argentina), 10 Maro Itoje (England).

Full article (paywall)