Rugby

NZ shut out early RWC talk

2014-06-20 08:29
Richie McCaw (AFP)

Hamilton - The All Blacks are shutting out talk that their series win over England is a good omen ahead of the Rugby World Cup, insisting on Friday they are taking one match at a time.

The reigning world champions wrapped up the series by winning the first two Tests and go into the dead-rubber final match in Hamilton on Saturday heavily favoured to complete a clean sweep.

England have consistently said through the tour they had an eye on the World Cup on home soil next year.

But captain Richie McCaw said the All Blacks preferred to stay in the present with history showing form before the World Cup was not always a handy guide.

He pointed to the 2007 event when New Zealand were beaten in the quarter-finals despite being hot favourites for the title.

"The great thing about this All Blacks is you go out to win every Test and every series and that's the first and foremost goal. If you do that right what happens next week or next year will take care of itself," he said.

"If you're looking to 15 months time you want to be performing well (now) and feeling like you're improving and getting better.

"I think back to '07 when 12 months out the Springboks weren't going too good and they won the thing. We lost a couple of games leading into the last World Cup so things can change.

"From our point of view we're in pretty good shape but we've got to keep improving."

Should the All Blacks win on Saturday they will equal the record of 17 consecutive Test victories currently held by the 1965-69 All Blacks and 1997-98 Springboks.

Read more on:    all blacks  |  richie mccaw  |  rugby
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