New Zealand Rugby
Henry backs McCaw for RWC'15
November 28, 2011
Henry embraces McCaw following New Zealand's Rugby World Cup Final victory over France © Getty Images
Former All Blacks boss Graham Henry fully expects the lure of the 2015 Rugby World Cup to be too much for Richie McCaw to resist.
Henry and McCaw spearheaded New Zealand's recent run to Rugby World Cup glory and while the head coach has since stepped down from his role, the 30-year-old captain is set for a spell on the sidelines following surgery on a long-standing foot injury. But Henry is confident that his talismanic skipper will soon return to full fitness and believes the All Blacks' defence of the sport's biggest prize will serve as a major inspiration in the months and years ahead.
"He was very very focused for a long time to win that thing [the World Cup] because we hadn't done it for 24 years," said Henry. "I am sure, if he is still playing and body is still willing, when he gets a couple of years out from the next World Cup he will start to re-focus on winning it again."
McCaw played through the pain barrier in the latter stages of the tournament having had a screw inserted into the fifth metatarsal of his right foot after a suffering a stress fracture at the start of the year. "He went through hell," explained Henry. "It was bad. I went fishing with him the week after the final and I looked down at his foot and it was like a balloon."
Unsurprisingly, Henry is full of admiration for the three-time International Rugby Board Player of the Year. "He's a remarkable guy and very bright but still puts his head in dark places. He's also very brave and highly-skilled and he's an inspiration. Every week he analyses his game to see how he can improve and he still does that having played 100+ Test matches.
"I think he is the best in the world but I am bias. He's an inspiration to the All Blacks and has captained the side a record number of times and if he hadn't played in the final against France then we simply would not have won."
Graham Henry was taking part in an exclusive coaches insight Q&A session at Rosslyn Park RFC made possible by The Rugby Site. Involving some of the biggest names in world rugby, The Rugby Site offers high quality rugby coaching videos and online forums to a global rugby community. Get inside the game now at www.therugbysite.com
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Graham Jenkins is the Senior Editor of ESPNscrum and you can also follow him on Twitter.