Teammates take over in McCaw's absence
Mon, 24 Sep 2012 6:39p.m.
By Jim Kayes, in Buenos Aires
Richie McCaw has spoken for the first time about his six-month sabbatical – a break the All Black skipper says will keep him mentally fresh for the 2015 World Cup.
McCaw will miss the first four months of Super Rugby and the June tests against France.
Strolling the streets of Buenos Aires, McCaw cuts a very different figure to how he finished his last test – bashed by a South African elbow to the head and limped off with a dead leg.
"Yep, the body takes a pounding every now and then, regularly, but it's when you lose that desire to get yourself over that ready for the next week, that's when you start to have enough," says McCaw.
He hopes his six-month sabbatical will delay that day.
"Part of it is physical, but part of it's also just mental. Over the years I've never really had more than a couple of months off unless it's been injury related."
And though he could finish this year having played a staggering 117 tests, McCaw's concerned people might misinterpret his reasons for wanting a break.
His younger teammates say he needn't worry.
"If one man deserves it, it's definitely him,” says All Blacks first-five Aaron Cruden. “He's been in the All Blacks for over 10 years now and over 100 tests. If someone deserves it it's definitely Richie. He throws his body in week in and week out."
"I'm his roomie this week, which is a bit interesting,” says halfback Aaron Smith. “I move a bit quieter around the room and when he goes to sleep, [it] looks like I'm going to sleep as well."
McCaw’s sabbatical means an opportunity for Sam Cane at open-side flanker, and of course the All Blacks will need a new captain. Of the group in Buenos Aires there are at least three options.
Dan Carter's the All Blacks’ vice captain, though he's yet to led them out in a match – Keven Mealamu has had that honour three times.
But Kieran Read is seen as McCaw heir apparent and will again captain the Crusaders in his absence.
"It'll be good for him,” says McCaw. “I suppose he's had a fair amount of time there and he's getting better and better all the time. I'm sure he'll enjoy it."
That is just as McCaw, who has now spent the equivalent of a combined two years in camp with the All Blacks, will enjoy his time out.
Post a Comment
Before commenting, please take the time to read our moderation guide
(Won't be published)
24/09/2012 9:13:24 p.m.
I believe that with the absence of McCaw that Conrad Smith should become the ABs captain.
24/09/2012 8:42:58 p.m.
The Canterbury backup at 7 stills looks the best replacement to me.See Cant v Waikato
The Australians are getting the civil formalities out of the...
San Antonio bounced back after squandering a 13-point lead i...
All Blacks fullback Israel Dagg has been moved off the bench...
Palmerston North's Hayden Pritchard is proof not all weightl...
Queensland police have confirmed that assault allegations ag...
Copyright © 2013 MediaWorks TV. All Rights Reserved.