Rugby: McCaw unfazed by Kronfeld criticism

LONDON - All Black newcomer Richard McCaw is not bothered that rugby great Josh Kronfeld has criticised his selection.

McCaw, 20, was selected to tour after playing just 17 first class games, all of them for NPC champions Canterbury this season.

England-based Kronfeld said after the team were named that All Black jerseys were being handed out too easily.

"It seems incredible to me that they so easily can put No 7s in ... now they've got a guy off one NPC season," said Kronfeld, once regarded as the world's best openside flanker.

McCaw said he was aware what Kronfeld had said.

"I don't know about that, but I suppose the selectors thought they picked the right players," he said.

"I've just to put up my hand and make sure I am worthy to be here, and make the most of my opportunities.

"It's only one fella's opinion."

McCaw, who captained New Zealand Colts to an international under-21 tournament triumph in Sydney this year, said being selected was great, but now he wanted to play.

"It's taken a wee bit of getting used to. I just can't wait to get out and play the game," he said.

"At the end of the day, you've got to play rugby so I'm mentally preparing. It is going to be a step up, but I'm looking forward to it."

There were whispers that McCaw held the edge over Marty Holah for the No 7 jersey, which has been a problem area for the All Blacks of late.

McCaw, a former New Zealand under-19 representative, didn't buy into such talk.

"It doesn't worry me what game I get out on to the paddock for, I just look forward to pulling on the black jersey."

The Lincoln University student is rooming with Scott Robertson, one of the players tried in the All Blacks No 7 in recent seasons.

Robertson, who this season revived his All Black career with a switch to No 8 for Canterbury, has been a willing mentor to the young All Black.

"He just pushed me in the right direction and you can rely on him to always be there," McCaw said of his roommate.

And if he needs any more help, there are 12 other Canterbury NPC players to turn to for advice.

While McCaw knew that the Irish loose forwards were very strong, he simply wanted to concentrate on his own game.

He thought he might get a video to take a "wee look to suss things out a little bit".

- NZPA

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