Rugby’s worst kept secret
9 May 2006
Richie McCaw will be named as the new All Black captain on Saturday, two weeks before the announcement of Graham Henry’s squad.
Henry has repeatedly told journalists that “even a blind man” could see what he was doing when asked about Tana Umaga’s replacement.
The 25-year-old was vice captain last year and led the All Blacks in the place of a resting Umaga in two Tests – against Wales in Cardiff in 2004 and against Ireland in Dublin late last year. He became his country’s 60th Test captain in the process.
Another giveaway that McCaw will be given the job is that Saturday morning’s announcement is set down for Christchurch Rugby Club.
“We think it is a very big deal being captain of the All Blacks and thought it should be kept separate from the squad announcement two weeks later,” Henry said. “It is a great honour and deserves its own space.”
Meanwhile, McCaw has admitted that Crusaders coach Robbie Deans was clever to rest him against the Bulls last weekend.
“He’s able to see past one match which can be a tough thing to do when you’re in certain situations,” he told xtramsn.co.nz. “Even myself, when we first talked about [being left out of the Bulls match], I was like ‘ohhhh…’ but the way I’m feeling now I’ve been able to get over some niggly injuries and stuff like that.
“I’m doing a lot better, and come this weekend I’ll be really excited to play. I have to go out and perform now. I feel good for that [break), and to be able take yourself out, with the team under a bit of pressure because we hadn’t performed, and make the right call…”
McCaw will be back in charge for the ‘Saders final round-robin match against the Brumbies on Friday.