Rugby: McCaw keen to stay at seven

Richie McCaw played in the unfamiliar number eight position for the All Blacks during the final test against Ireland on Sunday. Photo / Getty Images
Richie McCaw played in the unfamiliar number eight position for the All Blacks during the final test against Ireland on Sunday. Photo / Getty Images

Richie McCaw's adamant he wants to stay at openside.

McCaw shifted to number eight for the All Blacks in their final test against Ireland, allowing Sam Cane to make an strong starting debut in the number seven jersey.

There's been calls for the 106-test veteran to fill Jerome Kaino's former role on the blindside to allow Cane to play fulltime, but McCaw says he's not keen.

The All Blacks skipper says he'll do what is best for the team, but he wants to stay at openside.

"Ideally I'll keep playing the position I'm best at which is seven, I don't think there is any doubt about that. That's always my spot I've done best at and I don't see that changing," he told RadioSport.

"But last weekend with Kieran being injured and Victor being injured - to fill in other spots is a good string to your bow to have. When you look at the loose forward guys we have got around the All Blacks now, we're pretty lucky with the talent we've got.

At times it may require changing.

"I've always said I'll do whatever's best for the team but in an ideal situation you play in the position you feel most comfortable. That doesn't mean to say you can't do the other spots."

Saturday's 60-0 win over Ireland was McCaw's first outing in the No 8 jersey in his 100th test start. He is a possibility to play there again for the Crusaders in Saturday's Super 15 match against the Hurricanes.

"It was something a little bit different, something I hadn't done before for the All Blacks. I really enjoyed but it was pretty easy, any spot in the loose forwards when you have a tight five that did the job like they did.

"I think the big thing I enjoyed was Liam (Messam) and Sam, we haven't played together before so we put a bit of time into making sure that we understood what we were going to do and how we were going to do it. I think as a three we didn't do not too bad."

Meanwhile McCaw has weighed in on the future on second-five eighth Sonny Bill Williams, saying he wants to see him to with New Zealand Rugby.

"I thought he did pretty well in the last three weeks. It would be nice to have him around - a guy like him and Ma'a to be available but whatever he's doing after Super Rugby, you know as much as I do."

- HERALD ONLINE/NEWSTALK ZB

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