Chance for a quick word with a future halfback

By Amelia Wade

A smile and a chat as Richie McCaw signs his new book, The Open Side, for aspiring All Black Matthew Greenough, 8, in Auckland yesterday. Photo / Sarah Ivey
A smile and a chat as Richie McCaw signs his new book, The Open Side, for aspiring All Black Matthew Greenough, 8, in Auckland yesterday. Photo / Sarah Ivey

It's going to be hard to top Matthew Greenough's item at show-and-tell at school on Monday - an autographed copy of Richie McCaw's book.

The 8-year-old was the first in line at the All Black captain's signing at Whitcoulls on Queen St yesterday.

Matthew, his big sister Gracie, 9, and his grandmother Jules arrived at 9am to get their prime spot in the queue, and waited for more than three hours to meet McCaw.

"It was awesome," he said. "It was a little scary but I'm glad I know him. I said, 'Hi, my name's Matthew'."

But he couldn't chat to his hero for long, as behind him were hundreds of people in a 300m queue also waiting for their autographs.

On Monday, he's going to take his signed copy of The Open Side to Parnell Primary and show all his friends. He reckons it will "definitely" be the best item at show-and-tell that day.

Matthew's a big fan of McCaw and has on his bedroom wall a poster of the rugby legend that he's had since he was 3.

"And I've got dirt. My grandpoppa gave it to me and all the All Blacks stepped on that piece of dirt."

When he grows up, Matthew wants to be a halfback in the All Blacks.

"They're my best favourite team."

He practises his kicking in his backyard all the time and can kick a rugby ball a quarter of a football field.

McCaw toured Whitcoulls stores in Auckland yesterday for signings to mark the release of his book.

A staffer at the company's head office said copies were "flying off the shelves, especially at the signings".

- NZ Herald

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