Loading...
Loading Live Scoring...
*All times CAT (GMT+2)

Rugby | International Rugby

Virus won't affect All Blacks - McCaw



New Zealand captain Richie McCaw says his players will be fighting fit to face England on Saturday, despite a virus having struck the All Blacks squad.

Several players were laid low by vomiting and diarrhoea prior to last weekend's 33-10 win over Wales and the virus had spread to 30 members of the 32-man squad by the middle of this week.

However, those who fell ill are now on the road to recovery and McCaw says it will not put them off their stride at Twickenham.

"The guys are coming right now. By yesterday (Thursday) most of us were feeling pretty good, bar a couple," he said on Friday.

"I had a bit of it myself but I feel pretty good today. It knocked the stuffing out of a few of the guys.

"For a day or so the boys didn't have a lot to eat and were a little ginger yesterday.

"From what I've seen and from myself, we're eating normally and energy levels are back up. Hopefully it won't take too much out of us.

"I know running round yesterday wasn't too bad considering and I feel a heap better today. It shouldn't affect us at all tomorrow."

Meanwhile, McCaw has expressed solidarity with his England counterpart Chris Robshaw, who came in for criticism over his strategic decisions in the recent defeats by Australia and South Africa.

More worryingly for Robshaw, British and Irish Lions coach Warren Gatland has even questioned his ability to play as an openside flanker, but McCaw feels the 26-year-old is the right man for both the captaincy and the No 7 shirt.

"The best way to learn as a captain is to go through those experiences," the Crusaders flanker said.

"There's no doubt he'll be better off having been through tight matches. I've had that myself over the years.

"The key to leading is being able to make the right decisions when it counts. But the right decision is not clear all the time, so to say something was right or wrong – it's easy in hindsight.

"The best way to learn is on the job. I feel he'll have learnt along the way.

"He's playing particularly well. People ask if seven's the right position for him, but these days you pick the right mix of loose forwards for your team.

"You must have a bit of everything, rather than be an out-and-out six, seven or eight. If you can have a mix of players who can do all the jobs, then that's best for the team.

"That's obviously how their back row is working. I've been pretty impressed with the way he's gone."

New Zealand are bidding for a 10th consecutive victory over England on Saturday, while a win would also see them finish the year 2012 undefeated.

Shop

The Poisoned Chalice
The Springboks have had several post-isolation coaches, and if they agree on nothing else, they will concur that everyone in the job suffers enormous pressure
R160.00
Coach - Marco Botha
At 34, Heyneke Meyer was fired as head coach of a Super Rugby team for the second time
R114.00


Comments

More expert analysis and opinion from Sport24
The opinions expressed by Sport24 experts and bloggers are theirs alone, and do not necessarily represent those of SuperSport

Event Streaming

Channel Streaming

Other Live Streaming

Event Streaming

Channel Streaming

Sports Talk



Kyle Brown
Hunting the Pearl of the Orient
Hong Kong is the host city for the sixth round of the HSBC Sevens World Series. It is a tournament...

Brendan Venter
Old dogs, new tricks
Some may brush it off as an anomaly but I believe the 221 points and 27 tries scored during the...

Tony Johnson
It just never ends
Thirteen cards, including three reds, and 140 penalties spread over just six games.

Gavin Rich
How to remove imperfection from progress
There is general agreement that the referee and match officials on duty at Kings Park last weekend...

Brenden Nel
Bismarck at the crossroads
Gary Gold is right. Bismarck du Plessis is targeted by opposition teams.

Super Wrap
SuperWrap: Week 6, 2015
To the casual observer the story of last Saturday’s rugby will have had an all-too-familiar look to...