All Black captain Richie McCaw has accepted Lote Tuquiri’s apology for the spear tackle in last week’s final Bledisloe Cup Test.
McCaw was more concerned about the element of maliciousness in the incident, and appreciated Tuquiri’s sorries more than the lengthy 11-week ban placed on the winger.
“He did apologise to me and said he didn’t intend it, and that’s all I’m worried about,” McCaw said on Fox Sports.
“The other stuff [judiciary] just takes care of itself. It’s hard for the players to wade into that side of things.”
It was a miracle that McCaw did not suffer any serious injury to his neck, and despite being slightly strained in that area, he will lead the All Blacks against the Springboks this weekend.
“I got a little fright, obviously when you’re out of control of what’s happening,” McCaw said of the tackle.
“It did stretch the old neck up a bit but I realised there wasn’t too much wrong after that.”
Whether McCaw remains rattled from the incident remains to be seen. After taking such a big hit it is surprising that he was not placed on the bench for the weekend’s match, which has otherwise seen 11 changes to the All Black line-up.
It should be interesting to see how long he plays in Saturday’s game at Loftus, and if he avoids the heavy contact that the Springboks will undoubtedly provide.