The Harlequins star believes that the 32-year-old All Blacks skipper is everything that an openside flanker should be, but stressed that he is by no means limited by that role.
"Richie is probably the guy who epitomises the number seven shirt in world rugby," PA quotes the 27-year-old as saying. "He has won World Cups, Tri-Nations and these are the achievements that, as players, you try to emulate.
"A lot of people are always talking about an out-and-out seven. Of course he is that and he gets over the ball, but he does so much more too.
"Fielding high balls, carrying, abrasive tackles or reading different situations - he's a very all-round player."
McCaw has been on the winning side in 108 of 122 Test matches since making his debut against Ireland in a 40-29 win at Lansdowne Road in November 2001.