All Blacks legend says if Australian rugby is strong it helps New Zealand

David Skippers
Richie McCaw former NZ captain 2021 - Alamy.jpg

Former All Blacks back-row and captain Richie McCaw.

Legendary All Blacks back-row Richie McCaw believes regaining their confidence is crucial for the Wallabies to overcome their annus horribilis and to bounce back in 2024.

The Wallabies delivered their worst ever Rugby World Cup performance at the recent global showpiece in France – where they failed to advance to the quarter-finals for the first time in the tournament’s history – and only won two out of nine Tests under the guidance of head coach Eddie Jones, who has subsequently resigned from his position.

Important that Australian rugby is strong

Despite their poor form in 2023, McCaw feels Australia have the talent to do well at Test level and highlighted how important it is that Australian rugby is strong for the health of New Zealand rugby.

“Just from a New Zealand point of view, we want to make sure and see Australian Rugby strong. We need to have a strong Super Rugby competition and have good battles in the Bledisloe, we all want to see that,” McCaw told Rugby Australia’s official website.

“We both have challenges in other sports, you want kids to keep wanting to turn up and play and if you get that right, you’re going to have the next wave coming through.

“I’m sure that with a new coach coming in, someone will have a vision for that and he’s got to back that. There’s no doubt there’s talent here, it’s just a matter of getting that belief of what they can do.”

New Zealand Rugby have appointed Scott Robertson as the All Blacks‘ new head coach and he takes over the reins after guiding the Crusaders to several Super Rugby titles.

After the All Blacks’ 12-11 loss to the Springboks in this year’s Rugby World Cup final, McCaw believes Robertson is the right man to take the three-time world champions into the future.

“Well I think he’ll do things a little bit different to what’s been done before,” said McCaw, who played with Robertson for the All Blacks the Crusaders and Canterbury.

“Since 2004, you’ve had a pretty settled, especially management team with a slight change of coaches but I think he’ll do things a little bit differently. He’ll bring the things that have worked in the past but he’s prepared to try things.

“What he does have is a great knowledge of who’s around. He knows getting selections and staff right are important so it’s going to be exciting to see what he brings.”

All Blacks will be highly motivated in 2024

McCaw feels the narrow defeat to arch rivals South Africa will only serve as motivation for New Zealand.

“You make the final and you come up one point short, it’s disappointing that you’re so close but yet came up short,” he added.

“You look at all the teams that went to the World Cup like the French and the Irish that had a real good chance of winning it and they went home early and the Wallabies show you tournament chuck up anything.

“The results especially leading up into the tournament against South Africa and in the opening game, to give themselves a chance you’ve got to be happy but if we stopped being disappointed when we don’t win, you lower your standards.

“A few of the guys I’ve talked have said how disappointed they are but that’s the nature of it and we have a new coach and outlook next year which will be interesting.”

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