Rugby Championship

Mitchell salutes captain McCaw

2013-10-07 20:30
Richie McCaw (Gallo Images)
Cape Town - Former All Blacks coach John Mitchell has hailed captain Richie McCaw after leading his team to the Rugby Championship title.

Mitchell wrote on SA that the 120-Test veteran McCaw was immense against the Springboks at Ellis Park on Saturday.

McCaw, who's first Test cap was during Mitchell's tenure as All Blacks coach, only returned from injury a week ago to play his first Test match at Ellis Park and led from the front as the world champions weathered a spirited Springboks onslaught to record a 38-27 win, the All Blacks first at the ground for 15 years.

Mitchell wrote that McCaw possesses various characteristics that define him from the rest, saying that the robust flank has displayed remarkable fitness throughout his career.

Mitchell also points out the work McCaw has put in to develop areas of his game which he may not necessarily need or use, but has helped him to develop into one of the most innovative players of his generation. especially at the breakdown.

"He gets on the potential wrong side of law by getting there (the breakdown) early and keeping his feet for as long as possible.

"He also gets his body in the perfect position before the ruck is formed.

"He has evolved his breakdown work as the law interpretations have changed, and learned to put up with taking physical hits off the ball as well as the pressure put on him by opposition coaches and the media, who have suggested he cheats at the breakdown," Mitchell wrote.

Mitchell goes onto write that he had his fair share of doubts when he first selected McCaw to the All Blacks squad, before he had even played a Super Rugby match.

"I remember his first carry in his first Test against Ireland in Dublin in 2001, when he was 20 years old.

"He knocked on, and for a moment I thought we may have selected him too early in his career.

"But we went on to win 40-29 and McCaw was named Man of the Match!"

Mitchell pointed out that McCaw's professionalism has stood him in good stead over the years and that he has struck a healthy balance in his personal life away from the game.

"He is a genuinely good bloke who is very gifted in many aspects.

"He has maximised his talent and fulfilled his dream of not just becoming an All Black but a great All Black."


Read News24’s Comments Policy publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.


Did the Springboks' performance against the All Blacks in Wellington change your belief in who will win the Rugby World Cup?

Love 2 Meet
English Premiership flutter

Take Sport24's "expert" tips at your peril...

Sport24 on Twitter

Follow Sport24 news on Twitter


The 2019/20 Absa Premiership season is in full swing. Will Mamelodi Sundowns retain their title? Or can one of Kaizer Chiefs, Orlando Pirates, Wits, SuperSport United - or another team perhaps - snatch glory from the Brazilians? Be sure to visit Sport24 for all the latest news!

Latest blogs

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.