McCaw takes positive from 2007 agony

Date published: October 17 2015

All Blacks captain Richie McCaw suggested that the side's shock 2007 quarter-final exit to France had been the foundations for their success since that day.

McCaw will play France in the same fixture and in the same venue as eight years ago, meaning he was always going to be asked how he felt about New Zealand's surprise defeat that knocked them out of the World Cup.

"It's exciting to be back here. When we came over we knew we'd be here for the quarter-final if we qualified," said McCaw.

"If we are going to reflect back eight years ago, which is a long time, it was a disappointing day but then it has perhaps shaped what has happened in the eight years since.

"Those days are the ones you learn a few lessons from. I am grateful we get another opportunity to be in the quarter-final of a World Cup.

"It shows how tough quarter-finals are and that's the way it should be."

Despite that nightmare outcome McCaw has fond memories of playing Cardiff's rugby cathedral, pinpointing a specific Test now over ten years ago as a standout memory.

“One match that sticks in the mind pretty vividly is the 2004 Test against Wales. That was my first day as captain and it was a game that went right to the wire," he explained.

"The whole crowd was singing and I remember walking off that day thinking we got pushed right to the limit.

“There have been some pretty good experiences over the years. Pretty much every time I’ve played here I’ve been lucky that it’s been full, with an atmosphere. People always ask what my favourite place to play is, and the Millennium Stadium is right up the top.”

McCaw will be keeping an eye on the following day's quarter-final as well between Ireland and Argentina after speaking with Juan Martín Fernández Lobbe.

"I know it’s going to be a hell of a game like all of them," McCaw added.

"I talked to the Pumas after we played them and they’re excited about getting to this stage of the tournament too.

"I talked to their number seven (Lobbe), and he said, ‘We’ll see you in the final’, so he’s obviously anticipating a good job on Sunday.”