McCaw downplays milestone

Date published: August 15 2015

All Blacks skipper Richie McCaw has urged his team to remain focused on defending their title at the upcoming Rugby World Cup.

The world champions delivered a superb performance as they retained the Bledisloe Cup with an emphatic 41-13 victory over the Wallabies in Auckland on Saturday.

The match was a significant one for McCaw as he surpassed former Ireland centre Brian O'Driscoll's record of 141 international Test appearances.

But the 34-year-old won't let his personal milestone get in the way of the All Blacks' preparations for the World Cup.

'It's important not to get caught up in it all," said McCaw.

"We must not lose focus and the hard work starts now."

McCaw, who made his Test debut against Ireland in 2001, was given a standing ovation by the Eden Park crowd when he was replaced by Jerome Kaino late in the second half and expressed his gratitude to have represented his country for such a long time.

'I am so grateful to have had the opportunity to put on this shirt so many times over the years," he added.

"The first time I put on the jersey, I remember not wanting to put it down. I just wanted to add the legacy that had gone on for some hundred years before."

Meanwhile, All Blacks coach Steve Hansen hailed his team's performance in their victory over the Wallabies.

"That was a performance the whole country can be proud of and we in the team are incredibly proud of," he said. 

It's more of what we expect from our group and this goes to show we were well off the pace last week."

Wallabies captain Stephen Moore said the better team were victorious.

"We knew it would be tough but we got outclassed tonight," he explained. 

"Full credit to Richie and his team."