McCaw calls for cohesive All Blacks

All Blacks captain Richie McCaw is warning his teammates not to let personal goals get in the way of a compelling team performance against Scotland.


McCaw is wary of an in-form Scotland’s capacity to rise to the occasion at Murrayfield, which was close to reaching its capacity of 67,000 tickets sold 24 hours out from kick-off.

He is leading an inexperienced New Zealand team but one he says will have plenty to prove.

“There’s a few changes and the guys who have been given a chance are pretty excited,” he said.

“But you have to make sure you don’t try to prove things on your own. You’ve still got to play as a team.

“We expect them to perform to a high standard and hopefully that’s good enough.”

Hooker James Parsons is making his debut while 12 of the starting team have played 25 Tests or less.

Playing his 136th Test, McCaw makes his first start at blindside flanker, allowing Sam Cane a rare appearance in the No.7 jersey.

The skipper doesn’t expect his general role to change, with some subtle differences at lineout time the only issue to get his head around this week.

He has been more consumed by preparing for a Scottish side whose young backline looked impressive in the 10-point win over Argentina last weekend.

McCaw also called on his forwards to step up to the challenge posed by the Scottish big men, who out-rank them considerably in the experience stakes.

“Up front they’ve got some older heads, especially in the tight five,” he said.

“They got stuck in against the Pumas last week and got some good ball to play with.”

Scotland are ditching their traditional navy blue jersey for the Test, choosing to wear a bright red uniform with blue lining.

One team has to change strips when the two nations meet because of their similarity.

The All Blacks have often worn white against Scotland, or grey, as was the case at Murrayfield during the 2007 World Cup.