Three opensiders in the visiting squad won’t give the Wallabies a second-half advantage according to Richie McCaw.
George Smith will wear No 7 on Saturday, but the Wallabies have two other fetching options in David Pocock and Phil Waugh on the bench. McCaw, who will play his first Test in 2009 after being sidelined with injury, believes Wallabies coach Robbie Deans could play more than one fetcher in the second half. It’s a move that has the potential to trouble the hosts at the breakdown, but McCaw remains confident.
‘I always find when I play with other No 7s you don’t actually play the same role as you would if you were just there on your own otherwise you get in each other’s way,’ he said.
‘I know when George Smith plays with others he reverts to probably a more traditional six or eight role because he can do that so I guess from that point of view you don’t read too much into it.’
Smith will earn his 100th Test cap this Saturday and has long been McCaw’s biggest rival. The All Blacks’ skipper said he would be surprised if Smith was subbed at all this weekend.
‘I remember the very first time I played him was for the [New Zealand] U19s. I got a wee lesson that night about who George Smith was.
‘He doesn’t seem to have a bad game. He’s pretty smart in terms of when he chooses to do something, he usually does it pretty well and it has an impact on the game.
‘For the whole 80 minutes you know he’s out there.’