McCaw relishing last clash in Jo’burg

Date published: July 24 2015

All Black skipper Richie McCaw hopes to take a "lasting memory" from what is set to be his last Test on South African soil on Saturday.

Although he has not made a formal announcement, McCaw is expected to retire after this year's World Cup, where the All Blacks and Springboks are seeded to meet in the semi-finals. 

Ahead of this weekend's Rugby Championship showdown, 34-year-old McCaw, who made his international debut back in 2001, told reporters that facing the Springboks in Johannesburg is the "ultimate challenge" for an All Black. 

"I haven't thought too much about it (being my last game in South Africa). I'm focused on the coming game and want to win. If this is to be my last game, I want the lasting memory to be one of a win," said McCaw.

"We've been coming here for the past four years and whether it's been at Soccer City or Ellis Park we have considered these games against the Springboks to be the toughest.

"It’s always the most physical, the most intense match. It’s the game you want to be a part of and Ellis Park in particular is the ultimate place to play at. We know we have to take it up a level when we come here."

Debutants Lima Sopoaga and James Broadhurst will be given a Test baptism of fire but McCaw says games like these are the best possible test of character for the newcomers. 

"When it’s toughest, that’s when the best players stand up. It may come down to one moment, and so you keep going, you stay in the game for that moment," McCaw said.

"It can mean the difference between winning and losing. That's also the way you as a captain can inspire those around you."