Richie McCaw is set to become the first man to captain his country 100 times -Wow !

Richie McCaw doesn’t want a fuss, but his team-mates plan to honour his next milestone by playing down the house at Millennium Stadium this weekend.

I have had the honor of doing a long personal one on one interview with McCaw in 2011 prior to the world cup .It is up on my website ,Do go listen it will give you an indication of the class of the man -and he likes U2 -The pic Below with Egon Seconds and myself was taken after the interview –

McCaw will become the first player to captain a test side 100 times, provided he is named, as expected, to start against Wales in the Cardiff test on Sunday (NZ time).

And amidst all the selection speculation and World Cup background noise, the All Blacks skipper will provide a clear and present focal point for his team-mates to pull out all stops before they head into summer.

“It’s a massive deal isn’t it,” No 8 Kieran Read said after training at Cardiff’s picturesque Sophia Gardens.

“It’s huge to play 100 tests for your country let-alone as captain.

“I don’t think it’s ever been done… so you think about that feat in itself is massive, and the legacy he will leave. It’s certainly impressive.”

The All Blacks won’t be making a fuss about McCaw’s achievement in the buildup to the final test of 2014, but Read made it clear it would be a motivating factor on game day.

“He doesn’t want to make any deal of it really, typical man that he is, but… the way we can honour him is go out and play well and get a good win,” Read said.

“Those type of things will be great to celebrate with him after the game.”

McCaw played his 100th test against France in pool play at the 2011 World Cup, then notched his 100th test win playing against South Africa in Johannesburg in 2012.

Now, in what will be his 137th test, he is set to become the first man to captain his country 100 times.

And, just as they did on the previous milestones, Read said his team-mates would look to their skipper for inspiration.

“At some point in some games, especially big games, you will see him fly into a ruck or come out the other side with the ball,” he said.

“He has no regard for his body and when you see that from your skipper that’s not hard to follow.”

All Blacks assistant coach Ian Foster echoed Read’s sentiments, saying McCaw’s genuine and consistent personality were the simple secret to his success as a leader.

“He is who he is,” Foster said.

“And what I love about his captaincy is he doesn’t pretend to be anyone else. I don’t think there is a magic formula that Richie applies.

“He just leads from the front and is very demanding of the team in terms of how we behave both on and off the park.

“The fact he has a group around him like Reado and Conrad [Smith] living the same sort of values, means it goes down through the players and permeates the team.

“The biggest compliment I can give is that he is just himself and he’s honest with himself and his team-mates.”

While McCaw’s return to the openside flank at the expense of Sam Cane seems obvious after a rare start at blindside against Scotland, there is intrigue around the make-up of the a number of other key positions for the test, particularly in the backs.

Which of the squad’s four first five-eighths should start and who should play in the back three, have been particularly hot topics ahead of the team-naming tomorrow afternoon.

Dan Carter, Aaron Cruden, Beauden Barrett and Colin Slade are all options at No 10, while Israel Dagg and Ben Smith are competing for the fullback berth, and wing Charles Piutau has made a strong case for a start on the wing.

Foster said the side would largely be the top 23, but admitted some thought would also be given to planning for next year’s World Cup.

– Stuff


About Martin Myers
Music Supervisor / Artist and Talent Manager / Publicist / Music Exchange Founder / Owner Triple M Entertainment

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