Kiwi wrap (Tues)

Keo.co.za brings you the latest news from New Zealand’s year-end tour.

McCaw still No 1 in Henry’s view

Richie McCaw is still the best player in the world according to All Blacks coach Graham Henry.

McCaw received his coach’s vote as the premier player in the world despite not even making the shortlist for the official IRB award.

“I think Richie’s the best player in the world,” Henry said.

“I guess these things happen from time to time. I’m sure he just shrugs his shoulders and gets on with it.”

McCaw copped severe criticism for his side’s 18-20 loss to France in the World Cup last year, but Henry heaped praise on his skipper as his side prepare for the final Test of the season against England at Twickenham.

“Richie’s captaincy has always been very good and it’s getting better and better as he gets more experienced and gets a bit older,” Henry said.

“He’s captained the side outstandingly this year and I think he captained very well over the last two years.”

No Haka for Queen

The All Blacks will not perform the Haka when they meet the Queen on Tuesday.

The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh are set to visit the New Zealand “Giant Rugby Ball” at Potters Field Park, adjacent to Tower Bridge.

The ball, which stands 25m long and 12m high and can accommodate up to 230 people, is being used to promote New Zealand tourism as well as being the venue for the 2011 World Cup draw which will be made next week.

The All Blacks were expected to perform their ritual dance for the Queen, but have chosen to save it for their encounter with England at Twickenham in light of recent comments made by English journalist Frank Keating who called for its end as a pre-match spectacle.

More to follow …