As the All Blacks prepare to unveil their new World Cup jersey and the start of the tournament started in Japan. The question that many people are concerned about is what will Steve Hansen’s men to win another.
For Richie McCaw, winner of the World Cup twice and former captain of the All Blacks, the answer is not difficult. Playing well when it counts, that is the key he told the New Zealand Herald. Fans have bought their Rugby World Cup Tickets online and hoping for their favourite players to perform well in the tournament.
You have all the right structures and the way you want to play, but you have to be able to do that when it counts. It comes down to three big Saturdays and not to pick up speed in your quarter-finals.
The big problem in these games is that it may be one or two moments that make the difference and it’s about being able to manage them.
“It’s not magic-out-of-the-hat type stuff, it’s just about being able to execute when those opportunities come and if you can do that three weekends in a row you’ll be in for a pretty good shout.”
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On the verge of guiding New Zealand at a World Cup for the last time, Hansen hinted after being heavily involved in the last two triumphs that this edition would be the most open to date, McCaw agrees. He thinks any of the top five or six countries could win.
McCaw played 148 tests his last match was this memorable final victory over Australia at Twickenham four years ago. He no longer has a pair of rugby boots, he had to borrow for a MasterCard promotion at the Ponsonby Rugby Club.
But he remains an essential figure for his longevity, his leadership, his success rate, his professional ethics and his incredible ability to overcome the pain barrier on many occasions, including playing with a broken foot at the 2011 World Cup.
“The big thing about a World Cup knockout game especially, and you could probably throw the first game against South Africa in as well, is that they’re different to any other test match,” he said.
But I think a group of leaders know that they will support each other so that when the climate comes on, you have the guys doing the right things and making the right decisions. Everyone will have difficult times and challenges, even in the game but if you help yourself and stick to the plan, I think that’s the key.
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