RICHIE McCAW MUST have a book to sell because he has finally opened up about a couple of issues that have been irking him for a while.
Yes, Richie McCaw: The Open Side went on sale across New Zealand on Tuesday, priced at a recession-busting $50(NZL), and the All Black skipper, who is now on a six-month sabbatical from the game, has something to say.
Extracts of the autobiography have been released to give fans a taster of what to expect.
The headline-grabber is the chapter that deals with his run-ins with controversial Australian out-half Quade Cooper.
McCaw (ghost)writes about the 2011 Tri Nations clash in which Cooper attempted to ‘knee me in the head as he was extricating himself from a ruck’.
The intent of what he was trying to do pissed me off more than the execution. Shortly after that happened, I was carrying and should have passed, but I lit up and I saw Quade standing in front of me and clattered into him instead.
“I was disappointed in myself doing that,” he added, “letting it get personal. There’s no need – players like Quade get sorted. Sooner or later they get their beans.”
The openside flanker also divulges that the Wallabies are ‘more vulnerable’ when they are confident – as Ireland discovered at Eden Park – and his, correct, belief that ‘the Aussies were going to get it’ against New Zealand in the World Cup semi-final.
Henry over Deans
Unsurprisingly, given the success he has enjoyed with ‘Ted’, McCaw feels Graham Henry is a more collaborative and approachable coach than Wallabies boss Robbie Deans, who previously coached McCaw at Crusaders.
The 31-year-old also mentions, in a chapter entitled ‘What Else?’, that he found it extremely difficult to provide solace to Dan Carter after the out-half’s groin injury ruled him out of the closing stages of the World Cup. He writes:
“He’d played at Cardiff but hadn’t been right. Now he’s missed what is probably his last shot at RWC glory.
I guess I could say that there are other great players in his position, like Barry John and Jackie Kyle and Cliff Morgan, who never got to play in a Rugby World Cup either, yet are still regarded as the among the greatest.
“I don’t think that would be any consolation right now.”