Cape Town - Former All Black captain Richie McCaw has opened up about their 2007 Rugby World Cup quarter-final loss to France.
Speaking on the A Few Good Men podcast, McCaw said New Zealand's defeat was "best thing" to happen to him in rugby.
The All Blacks were heavy favourites to win the 2007 World Cup, but suffered a shock 20-18 defeat to France in the quarter-finals in Cardiff.
"People ask me what is the worst thing that happened to you in rugby? For a while I'd say the 2007 World Cup quarter-final but probably now I d say it was one of the best things that happened to me," McCaw said.
"Because I wouldn't have put the time and effort and work into what happened for the (next) eight years... I don't think the All Blacks would have been successful for the (following) eight years had we not gone through that.
"Yes, it was tough at the time but the learnings we got out of it and where it took us, the path it took us, wouldn't have happened if we hadn’t gone through that.
"It showed you how tough it is to actually win a World Cup. It put that right in perspective. You never took anything for granted after that."
McCaw would go on to lead the All Blacks to back-to-back World Cup triumphs in 2011 and 2015.
The now 38-year-old retired after the 2015 event in England, playing 148 Tests for the All Blacks and ending on the winning side in 131 of those games.