Rugby Championship
McCaw bemused by Cooper's outburst
ESPN Staff
September 29, 2012
Australia's Quade Cooper gets to grips with New Zealand's Richie McCaw, Australia v New Zealand, Tri-Nations, Lang Park, Brisbane, Australia, August 27, 2011
Richie McCaw and Quade Cooper came to blows in Brisbane last year © Getty Images
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Players/Officials: Quade Cooper | Richie McCaw
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All Blacks skipper Richie McCaw says he "can't understand" Quade Cooper's recent criticism of the Wallabies squad.

Cooper criticised Australia's boring style of play and accused the Wallabies of having a "toxic environment" ahead of their clash with South Africa on Saturday. And McCaw, who is preparing along with the rest of the All Blacks in Argentina ahead of their clash with the Pumas in La Plata on Sunday, admitted he was bemused by the comments from the Wallabies and Reds fly-half.

McCaw has a long running spat with Cooper on the field since the pair traded blows during the Hong Kong Bledisloe Cup Test in 2010, a feud that escalated when Cooper was accused of kneeing McCaw in the head during the Wallabies' Tri-Nations-winning victory in Brisbane last year.

The New Zealand skipper though has huge respect for former Crusaders coach Robbie Deans and Deans' Wallabies captain Nathan Sharpe.

"If I know anything, a team like that, they'll be in Pretoria and be pretty tight about getting the job done," McCaw said. "I know guys like Nathan Sharpe, they're good rugby men, they're proud men, they'll be doing everything they can to ensure their environment works.

"I guess sometimes with peripheral stuff you can't worry about it. I'm sure that's exactly what Robbie will be emphasising. I can't understand someone going on like that but that's just the way it is I suppose."

Asked if that's the way Cooper was, McCaw said: "Seems to be doesn't it ... I don't really know the guy so who knows?"

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