"The national rugby team of New Zealand is, by any reasonable accounting, the world’s preeminent sports dynasty. Since 1903, the All Blacks have won or drawn 80 percent of their international test matches despite New Zealand having a population of 4.4 million in 2013, which makes it roughly the size of Greater Detroit. Its chief rivals— the national teams of England, France, Australia, and South Africa— come from nations that have populations up to fifteen times larger." taken from The Captain Club by Sam Walker.
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Rico Gear is one of the most popular and celebrated members of the New Zealand All Blacks rugby team. A status he earned while slicing through opposition defences and scoring tries all over the world as a professional athlete for over 17 years.
But watching him perform on the world sporting stage was not how I first met Rico. In fact, I actually unknowingly met Rico at a Tony Robbins UPW event in Sydney earlier this year. He really is a great guy and he was so generous with his time and help to make this conversation happen.
So that’s how we got to here!
But that's another story.
In case your wondering how good Rico was, take a look at these stats:
- Scored his first All Blacks hat-trick in 2005, against Wales at Cardiff.
- Scored two tries for eventual runners-up Nelson Bays in the 2005 Air New Zealand NPC Division Two final.
- Led, by a comfortable margin, all New Zealand players with 25 first-class tries in 2005.
- Played for New Zealand Maori against the British & Irish Lions in 2005 – one of the few players to face the Lions four times.
- In the All Blacks final match of 2004, he became just the third All Black to score two tries in a match against the Barbarians.
- Represented New Zealand Sevens at nine International Sevens tournaments and won a gold medal at the 1998 Commonwealth Games in Kuala Lumpur.
- Inaugural winner of the Richard Crawshaw Trophy for Sevens Player of the Year in 1998.
Despite the individual honours, Rico is a team player through and through. And his contribution, and experience in building the brand new team culture for the New Zealand rugby in mid- 2000s was pivotal in setting the team on a course that would see them win two consecutive world cups in 2011 and 2015. (And incedentally earned them a spot as one of the 16 best sporting teams in history, according to Sam Walker; another Barnraisers alumni who appeared on the show in episode 6.
But more on that a little later.
Ladies and gentlemen its my pleasure to introduce you to my friend and former New Zealand All Black, Rico Gear.
Enjoy the show!
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