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‘A Captain’s Cup’ – an exclusive eight-part Radio Sport podcast series every Friday in which Louis Herman-Watt and Daniel McHardy interview every Rugby World Cup-winning captain. In part 8, Richie McCaw going back-to-back in 2015.
Expelling the baggage of such long-held mental burdens forced the All Blacks to seek new motivation as they plotted their quest towards the 2015 World Cup.
That came in the form of intent to carry the world champion tag with pride, knowing the target was firmly imprinted on their backs.
Richie McCaw recalls Steve Hansen’s promotion to head coach bringing with it a different flavour, a reinvigoration. A fresh wave of talent followed too; Aaron Smith, Brodie Retallick, Dane Coles, Sam Cane and Julian Savea among the initial intake which kept established players on their toes.
• A Captain’s Cup podcast, part 7: Richie McCaw and the 2011 All Blacks
• A Captain’s Cup podcast, part 6: John Smit and the 2007 Springboks
• A Captain’s Cup podcast, part 4: John Eales and the 1999 Wallabies
• A Captain’s Cup podcast, part 5: Martin Johnson and England’s 2003 triumph
Hansen made sure no one was comfortable or content. This was the All Blacks, after all.
“It would have been easy to accept that you’ve got to the top of the mountain and it doesn’t matter if you don’t stay there,” McCaw said about ending New Zealand’s 24-year World Cup agony.
“I remember one of the discussions is you carry the tag of world champion around so our job is to go and play like that and not let standards slip because everyone wants to knock off the world champs. We want t
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