Richie McCaw (AP)
Weybridge - New Zealand captain Richie
McCaw will always be at the centre of "bitter and twisted"
controversy because some rivals do not want the rugby great to play, All Blacks
coach Steve Hansen said.
Hansen defended McCaw who was at the centre
of a social media storm after video images showed him apparently elbowing an
Other images quickly showed there was no
contact and a World Rugby official confirmed on Sunday that the All Black
legend would not be cited - ruling out any risk of McCaw missing Saturday's
World Cup final against Australia.
"He's a man that draws a lot of
attention because he's been a great player, probably the greatest player
certainly who has played for the All Blacks and maybe in the history of the
game," said Hansen.
"If he's not in your team he's a pain
in the rear end so it goes that if you can't get him on the track let's get him
off the track."
Hansen added: "There will be some
people who are bitter and twisted about him. However, 99 percent of people in
rugby, whilst he's not playing against him, like him.
"It's when we play certain teams that
they get upset about him. He takes it in his stride and the team takes it in
The New Zealand coach was among the first
to rubbish the reports that his player risked a World Rugby citation that could
force him out of Saturday's final.
"There's nothing in it, so there's
nothing to talk about," Hansen told a press conference the day after New
Zealand's 20-18 win over South Africa.
Video images emerged after the
fiercely-fought contest showing McCaw's elbow apparently striking Springbok
flank Francois Louw.
Other images shown later made it look as
though Louw was hit by McCaw's hip.
Louw had stitches in two wounds in his head
but said he did not know how the injuries were caused. They were inflicted in a
Some media in New Zealand and Britain
questioned whether the blow could lead to McCaw being cited ahead of next
Saturday's World Cup final.
"It was kicked off by social media and
I'm not a big fan of social media," said Hansen.
The All Blacks are bidding to become the
first country to win three titles and the first team to defend their title.