The superlatives continue to flow for All Blacks skipper Richie McCaw, who has announced his retirement from rugby.
McCaw hangs up his boots after a world record 148 Tests, the last ending in him becoming the first captain to lift the World Cup twice.
All Blacks coach Steve Hansen is unequivocal about the 34-year-old loose forward's standing in the game.
"In my opinion, he will go down not only as the greatest All Black of all time, but the greatest captain we have ever had, and possibly the greatest player to have ever played the game in the modern era," he said.
Hansen said to play the number of Tests McCaw did, especially given the demands of his position, was in itself something to marvel at.
But having seen most of those games as part of the All Blacks coaching team over the past 12 years, Hansen also couldn't recall a bad performance.
NZ Rugby chief executive Steve Tew rated McCaw as the most influential player of his generation, "if not of all time".
Tew said McCaw also made a significant contribution off the field, and was a sounding board for players, coaches, administrators and others involved in the game.
"He cares greatly about the whole game and everyone involved in it," he said.
The team that McCaw played the most Tests against were the Wallabies (37 for 29 wins) and Australian Rugby tweeted: "Congratulations to @AllBlacks captain Richie McCaw on an amazing career. One of the greats!"