McCaw says no guarantees for All Blacks
AUCKLAND, 22 Oct. - With an international career spanning 10 years and including three Rugby World Cup campaigns, Richie McCaw has crossed paths with the Webb Ellis Cup before.
While the All Blacks captain knows exactly what rugby’s greatest prize looks like, he has never laid a hand on it. "I don’t think you should touch it until you’ve earned it," he said.
On the eve of the big match against France, that may well change for the 30-year-old.
For McCaw, however, Sunday night’s clash at Eden Park is all about the men who wear the All Blacks jersey with him.
"It’s not about personal stuff," he said. "It’s about this team having an opportunity and not wasting it. Going out and performing, playing the best game we’ve ever played in a World Cup final. That’s the opportunity that’s there and from our point of view we don’t want to let that slip by."
Fear of history
New Zealand know what it is like to have opportunity slip them by, exiting RWC 2003 and RWC 2007 in the knockout stages.
However, McCaw believes the disappointment and the fear of history repeating itself has steeled the All Blacks.
"A lot of guys have been through one if not two experiences that haven’t been too flash and you’d like to think that just hardens the resolve and the desire," he said. "From my point of view, what happened back in 2003, I never understood what it took to win a World Cup. Perhaps I didn’t fully understand again in ’07.
"But with those experiences you realise that to win it you’ve got to be the best team in the tournament regardless of what’s happened beforehand and you’ve got to produce the good when it counts.
"I think a lot of the guys that have been around a while understand that. There’s absolutely no guarantees."