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Thu Apr 24 05:48:35 SAST 2014

McCaw wants to stay at openside

TEAMtalk Media | 26 June, 2012 11:410 Comments
New Zealand v Ireland
Richie McCaw of the All Blacks runs with the ball during the test match between New Zealand and Ireland at Waikato Stadium on June 23, 2012 in Hamilton, New Zealand
Image by: Phil Walter / Getty Images

All Blacks skipper Richie McCaw is adamant he wants to stay at openside despite calls to move the flank to the other side of the scrum.

The 106-Test veteran played at number eight in last weekend's drubbing of Ireland in the absence of Kieran Read, allowing Sam Cane to make an impressive starting debut in the number seven jersey.

Crusaders coach Todd Blackadder and former All Black blindside Michael Jones believe McCaw could benefit from a switch to the six jersey where he would fill the gap left by Jerome Kaino, while 20-year-old Cane takes over at openside in the long term.

But McCaw says he would prefer to stay in the position that saw him earn the IRB Player of the Year award.

"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."

McCaw is likely to make a repeat appearance at number eight for the Crusaders in Saturday's Super Rugby clash 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," said McCaw.

"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 too bad."

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