Winners of the past two World Cups, the… TAGS: The Greatest Players David Kirk holds aloft the Webb Ellis Cup Rugby’s Greatest: Kieran Read LATEST RUGBY WORLD MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTION DEALS Major teams: AucklandCountry: New ZealandTest span: 1985-87Test caps: 17 (17 starts)Test points: 24 (6T) New Zealand’s Kieran Read is fast becoming the… All Black Richie McCaw is the greatest openside… Rugby’s Greatest: Richie McCaw By now firmly established for Auckland under coach John Hart, he wasn’t expected to lead the All Blacks into the World Cup until fate dealt regular captain Andy Dalton a poor hand after he had had to withdraw due to injury, to be replaced by a young Sean Fitzpatrick. Rugby’s Greatest: David KirkThe No 9 from Wellington led a stellar team featuring John Kirwan, Michael Jones and Grant Fox to a 29-9 win over France in the final, after cantering through the group and knockout stages without so much as a bloody nose.After taking a medical degree at Otago University, sport took precedence for Kirk as he shone first in sevens, in which he had enough pace to play on the wing, and then 15s, in which his talent was first given a wider audience playing for New Zealand Colts while in his early twenties.His snappy service, livewire presence around the breakdown and sharp rugby brain saw him pegged as a future All Black and he made his full debut against England in 1985.A future Oxford scholar, he took a principled stance after refusing to tour with the breakaway Cavaliers in 1986. His abstinence was on moral grounds as he felt the tour to South Africa was complicit in supporting apartheid. Rugby’s Greatest: Kieran Read Rugby’s Greatest: Richie McCaw New Zealand Rugby World Cup Fixtures, Squad, Group, Guide New Zealand Rugby World Cup Fixtures, Squad, Group, Guide Collapse Expand Kirk scored five tries as the hosts romped to the first world crown, including one in the final against France. “He was the shining light of New Zealand rugby,” Fitzpatrick said, “an outstanding scrum-half and an outstanding captain.”Kirk retired from competitive rugby the following year after just 17 caps to take up a Rhodes Scholarship at Oxford University. He was just 26.It was the springboard to a hugely successful business career that has seen him act as chief adviser to New Zealand prime minister Jim Bolger, a published author and CEO of Fairfax Media. He has also worked as a leading arbitrator in sporting disputes. Already an MBE, he was inducted into rugby’s Hall of Fame in 2011 and now resides in Sydney where he looks after his business portfolio. Expand Follow our Rugby World Cup homepage which we update regularly with news and features.Also make sure you know about the Groups, Warm-ups, Dates, Fixtures, Venues, TV Coverage, Qualified Teams by clicking on the highlighted links.Finally, don’t forget to follow Rugby World on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.