Rugby World Cup 2011

McCaw on 100th Test and Zara

2011-09-23 08:35
Zara Phillips (File)

Auckland - All Black skipper Richie McCaw on the verge of his 100th Test was asked on Friday about his greatest memories, what he does with his jerseys and even where Zara Phillips should go while she's in Dunedin.

The three-time IRB World Player of the Year will become the first All Black to play 100 Tests when he leads the team in a grudge match against their World Cup nemesis France here Saturday.

McCaw, 30, who turned down an invite to Prince William's wedding last April to concentrate on his rugby, has been called an inspiration both to his team and New Zealand as a whole.

He spent part of the traditional match-eve Captain's Run press conference at Eden Park on Friday ruminating on his towering career with some left-field questions thrown in for good measure.

McCaw said he had received a deluge of congratulatory messages, including two from old Wallabies' adversaries, George Gregan and Phil Waugh.

He rated his 2001 Test debut, the second Test against the 2005 British Lions and a 2009 Wallaby Test in Wellington as his special memories.

And what does McCaw do with his huge collection of All Black jerseys?

"Swap a few jerseys. Two or three special ones framed up and the rest of them sit in a box," he said.

He said in his quiet moments he reflected on what he has achieved in rugby.

"It's something that you reflect on later and saying that you have to take a moment to remember what you're doing.

"Every time I go out on the field I pinch myself and make sure how lucky I am to be putting on a black jersey and I always take a moment to do that," he said.

"After tomorrow night it will be something you reflect on a little bit, but then you have to move on pretty quick because there's a tournament you are endeavouring to win."

And Zara Phillips?

Phillips, the granddaughter of Britain and New Zealand's Queen Elizabeth, is due to watch husband Mike Tindall in World Cup action for the first time in Dunedin this weekend.

Tindall has been engulfed in a media storm after being pictured with a mystery blonde during England's alcohol-fuelled night out in Queenstown.

McCaw, born in the Otago region, was asked what activities the Princess Royal could do while she was in Dunedin, a city of 120 000 tucked at the bottom of New Zealand's South Island.

"I don't know," McCaw said sheepishly. "I was going to say something about seeing some seals out on the peninsula, but I don't know."


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