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McCaw: We must raise our game


Richie McCaw

Richie McCaw

Richie McCaw

New Zealand captain Richie McCaw has warned the four home nations that his All Blacks' side have no intention of resting on their laurels when they head to Britain and Ireland next month.

McCaw's men have won their last 15 Tests and completed a clean sweep of six wins on their way to a 10th Tri Nations title earlier this year, playing a fluent high tempo multi-phase game that proved too strong for traditional foes South Africa and Australia to match.

"When we were here four years ago, again a year before a World Cup, we had a good tour," said McCaw. "We played some of our best rugby in that four-year period on that tour, but we have to improve on that this tour and not fall into the trap of thinking that what we are doing now is going to be good enough for next year. It's about being able to pick it up and push on."

While the All Blacks have been world rugby's dominant force for much of the last quarter of a century, they have developed a reputation for choking on the game's biggest stage, the World Cup.

By the time they host next year's global showpiece, 24 years will have passed since their 1987 triumph, which also came on home soil.

But McCaw, the current world player of the year, says previous failures will not define how New Zealand approach the tournament.

"We have a World Cup at home but if you go into it thinking about what has happened before you won't enjoy it," said the Canterbrian.

"It is exciting to play in a World Cup and it will be even more exciting to do so at home. Every team there will have pressure and it's about coping with that weight on your shoulders.

"If you look at our squad, plenty of guys have already been to one or two World Cups. It comes down to attitude in the knockout stages, you're leaving it to chance if you are going to turn up and see how it goes."

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