McCaw keen to remain at openside
June 26, 2012
Richie McCaw started at No.8 at the weekend © Getty Images
New Zealand skipper Richie McCaw is adamant that he wants to stay at openside despite calls for him to switch to the other side of the back-row.
Debutant Sam Cane shone for the All Blacks against Ireland on Saturday sparking calls for McCaw to move to blindside to accommodate the new face. Crusaders boss Todd Blackadder claimed that he believed the move would eventually happen.
"He's got the ability to be like a Michael Jones," Blackadder told the Sunday Star-Times. "With the way Richie plays, he's more and more used to playing the role of a six or eight. Moving to six wouldn't be dramatic, but it will take him a little bit of time to be comfortable with it. I don't think he's quite there yet, but over time he will be."
With Japan-bound Jerome Kaino absent from the Rugby Championship McCaw could deputise but he is still keen on turning out at openside despite starting at No.8 at the weekend.
"Ideally I'll keep playing the position I'm best at which is seven, I don't think there is any doubt about that. That's always my spot I've done best at and I don't see that changing," he told RadioSport. "But last weekend with Kieran being injured and Victor being injured - to fill in other spots is a good string to your bow to have. When you look at the loose forward guys we have got around the All Blacks now, we're pretty lucky with the talent we've got. At times it may require changing.
"I've always said I'll do whatever's best for the team but in an ideal situation you play in the position you feel most comfortable. That doesn't mean to say you can't do the other spots."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
The controversial tackling technique will be in full swing in Dublin on Sunday, writes Conor O'Shea, and could be a decisive factor for Ireland
"This team deserves to be recognised as the greatest of all time." Huw Richards looks at Gareth Edwards' final match for Wales
The two leading contenders for the best modern open-side flanker go head to head in Paris on Saturday. John Taylor assesses the tale of the tape