Sunday 21 July 2019

McCaw ponders staying on

McCaw, who has won 148 caps and played in four World Cups, was taken off one minute from the end to a standing ovation from a crowd who thought they would not see him in action again, but the 34-year-old flanker said he may be back for more
McCaw, who has won 148 caps and played in four World Cups, was taken off one minute from the end to a standing ovation from a crowd who thought they would not see him in action again, but the 34-year-old flanker said he may be back for more
Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

New Zealand captain Richie McCaw said after lifting the Webb Ellis Cup for the second time in four years that it was the proudest moment of his career and one that was making him consider postponing his international retirement.

McCaw, who has won 148 caps and played in four World Cups, was taken off one minute from the end to a standing ovation from a crowd who thought they would not see him in action again, but the 34-year-old flanker said he may be back for more.

"This is the proudest moment of my career," said McCaw. "We said after winning the World Cup four years ago that we get straight back on the road again and we did. We finished the final well and that has been a mark of this team since 2011. We played some damned good rugby, and although we lost a bit of composure in the second half, we came home strongly."

McCaw said before the tournament that he would make a decision about his future after it had finished, but he will take his time. "I still do not want to think about it," he said. "I want to enjoy this success: how could you get enough of this? If you get moments like this, why would you ever call it a day?"

Out-half Daniel Carter, whose 19 points stretched his Test record to 1,598, will not play international rugby again having signed a contract with Racing Metro. His coolness and accuracy - he was also his side's top tackler with 12 - helped the All Blacks recover their balance after a wobbly moment when Australia recovered from 21-3 down to reduce the gap to four points.

"It is a great way to finish my Test career," said Carter, who was also appearing in his fourth World Cup having wondered, when a groin strain suffered in training ruled him out of the 2011 tournament, whether he would get another opportunity. "I am pretty grateful to be where I am considering what happened four years ago. I'm so proud of the team. To win back-to-back World Cups is a dream come true."

Head coach Steve Hansen, who has been involved with the side since 2003, said: "You could not have scripted it for Dan any better. He is one of the great players. . . for him to come out and show all his skills in the final was special.

The only blemish for the All Blacks was the yellow card shown to full-back Ben Smith after 51 minutes for a dangerous tackle, the first sin-bin in a final. Australia scored their two tries in his absence. "We were never going to let that affect us," said McCaw. "We had come too far."

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