Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Rugby Hebdo Article (translation by Sandrine)

Richie McCaw said : “ Nothing is done “

With his upcoming come back to Super 14, the All Blacks capitain ensures that his players are ready to work even harder to avoid the fourth defeat.

Rugby Hebdo : Richie, you haven't played since the end of November and the Europe tour. What did you do?

Richie McCaw : I had one month off in December after our return in New-Zealand. I have a holiday-house in Oamarama , in the country, three hours away in the south of Christchurch.
I spent most of my time over there, I could glide, which is my favorite pastime.
I also spent Christmas and the New Year‘s Day over there.
We started again the training the second week of January, which occupied me since.

RH : You were part of the 22 exempted players at the beginning of Super 14 to do a preparation with the All Blacks. What did you do exactly ?

RMC : People perhaps had the feeling that we were together all these weeks of preparation but, in fact, it wasn’t frequent.
We involved ourselves with the other players from the same province taking part in the program. I was with Dan ( Carter ) , Aaron ( Mauger ), Reuben ( Thorne ) ... We were all together only 3 times for these conditioning camps .
There was more recuperation during these times than when we were “ at home “. At home, the program included 3 meetings a day, 5 days a week.
On the whole, we had 4 meetings speed, 5 of strength, 3 of physical plus some boxing, Yoga or Pilates.
During the tem conditioning camps, there were physical tests and technical workshops. It was less tiring than the other part of the preparation.

RH: What are the principal benefits from this preparation?

RMC : One of the biggest advantages is that we could make a pause away from rugby during a few times, which is usually impossible.
When a tour with the All Blacks finishes at the end of November, there are always engagements away from the ground (but related to the rugby ) to hold, and then the training sets out again at the beginning of January, and the competition in February. It’s a bit hard psychologically.
At least this year, we could enjoy a real break. Personally, I found that refreshing.
This will I have to really go back to the ground and the competition.
Physically, the program enabled us to work speed or explosiveness over a period much longer than usually.
Finally, that will make a great difference. Usually, with the wire of the season, your speed, your explosiveness and your power decrease because you didn’t have an enough long preparation to preserve them.
This year, we had this time. Physically, I have the feeling to have to find the form which I had in 2003 and 2004, where I had tested my body much less than today.
The physical tests confirm it since I have the same results as before.
Even when at the beginning the differences appear tiny, with time, they can become enormous.
This pause can finally make it possible some to play, and which knows, to remain in New Zealand longer.

RH: The Super 14 was played without you during seven weeks. Did you miss playing?

RMC : Honestly, I didn’t really miss it during the first weeks of competition. And I didn’t cry because I missed the pre-season!
And then, I had prepared to have spare time, but, during the two last weeks, I was eager to come back to the competition !
I am a bit nervous, because I have to have the level of play of the Crusaders as of my return.
Not playing official matches makes it possible to enjoy the competition better : it’s a reward for all the efforts made during the training. Even if this break is a need, the excitation is very strong with the idea of playing again.

RH : Did you watch at the matches of the VI Nation ? What do you think about the competition in general and the performance of the French team in particular?

RMC : I didn’t see any match completely, but I saw the summaries. Italy and England surprised ; France and Ireland appeared very solid.
The fact that France won the VI Nations certainly means something, because it was very tight. I retain especially their victory in Ireland.

RH : You easily won your matches against France during your November tour. Do you think that these two matches reflected the difference between the two teams ?

RMC : I do not think it at all . We surprised them at the first test in Lyon, whereas they hadn’t played together for a long time.
They carried out an enormous progression for the second test, it’s the proof that it’s a good team.
We know well that they will be better in six months. They have all the players they need.
They had one bad day against the English team, but they went back against Scotland and they eventually won the VI Nations. It reveals the faith this team has now.
During the World Cup in September, the French team will be dangerous. During the World Cup what is important, it’s the one day performance on a match ; the French team can beat anyone.

RH : In the Northern hemisphere, people are persuaded that the All Blacks have a lead over the rest of the world. What do you think about it ?

RMC : The difference between the best teams in the world is much meaner than it’s thought.
The first eight nations are held. One of these nations can perhaps have a favourable time and make damage, like us for example since a few months.
But another day, the same team can have a great difficulties developing its game.
We must keep in mind that things go very quickly in rugby.
We could note it in the past with the All Blacks : we arrived favorite at the World Cup , and finally , we were beaten. It’s constantly necessary to improve and to work hard, harder than ever, because it’s what everyone will do.

RH : Do you risk the excess of trust ?

RMC : This risk exists but it’s a thing we have already spoken about. All the players are conscious that nothing is acquired.
As a long as we will pay attention to it, that we will work hard, this problem will not arise.

RH : Did the coach particulary draw your attention to this point ?

RMC : Yes, but the players were already attentive there. The team is very tested today.
Half of the team was already with the last World Cup. We had difficult moments , and we know now that all can go very quickly.

RH : Which memories did you keep from France ?

RMC : It was an amazing travel in a very pleasant country. It was interesting to discover the places, the hotels and the grounds which we will use during the World Cup. The fact of being familiar with all these places will help us.
I didn’t know much the South, I liked the training in Marseille.
I discovered a new part of this country, other people, it was very funny.

RH : It’s said that you learn French in this moment. Is this true ?

RMC : Yes. Last year, I tried to make my speech of after-match by speaking a little French,but it wasn’t very well.
As we go to France ( hopefully for two months ), I found that it would be more pleasant to be able to speak to people in their language, or, at least, to exchange some words with them.
I try to take French lessons as soon as I can, but rugby is really easier.

RH : This Super 14 is it already a preparation for the World Cup ?

RMC : One shouldn’t make conclusions from the Super 14 for the international matches.
In the past, the African Southern teams suffered, but the Springboks were always also dangerous.
This season, the African Southern teams have good results . Their international players are fit, and they will gain much confidence.
They always had players with much faculty. Sometimes, they missed just a balance, an harmony on the ground and outside ,but it seems to be present this season : but they will be harder to beat than usually.
For the Australian team, many good players were injuried , it would be therefore difficult to judge them ; but they shouldn’t ba underestimated.
For years, we dominated them in the Super 12, and, each time, the Wallabies beat the All Blacks.
RH : Many players of New-Zealand in particular of the young people, will go to the European Clubs after the Wolrd Cup. Is this a good thing ?

RMC: As long as remunerations will increase, there will always be players who will leave New-Zealand to test another thing. The players who join the All Blacks are younger than before.
They have the feeling to turn in round earlier. I know that people wonder how one can turn the back on All Blacks, but reality is that the players take part in many test-matches, more than the majority of old international.
It’s an interesting challenge to go further, whether it’s financially, culturally, or for the sport.
For example, it’s very interesting to make a whole season with only one team, instead of being divides between All Blacks, your Super 14 team and your NPC team.
In a perfect world , all players of New-Zealand would play here, but it isn’t compatible with professional rugby.

RH: Do you imagine one day to play in Europe ?

RMC : I didn’t exclude this possibility , even if the chance is mean.
It would be necessary if I do not have fun any more in New-Zealand or that a small voice says it that I’m not good enough to keep playing here.
As long as I have fun and that my body follows , I want to continue to play here.
But, I know also the advantages of playing in Europe : psychologically, it’s less tiring, and not to play on an international level is less exhausting for the body while earning as much money.
If the moment comes, I should weigh for and it against, but the question hasn’t arisen yet.

RH : Is this dangerous to see leaving all the old players by letting the young players only manage all ?

RMC: That would be dangerous for All Blacks if we hadn’t excellent young people, but it isn’t the case for the moment. Ideally, it would be necessary to preserve some players with experiment to “help” young people.
In New-Zealand, we have much chance because each time we lose a player, another player is there to take his place.
As long as it will be like that, we will not have problems.

RH : Can New-Zealand fight financially with the European Clubs ?

RMC: New-Zealand is a too small country for that. There will be always European Clubs ready to pay players of New-Zealand more expensive than here.
As long as things will remain like that , they will leave abroad and nobody could be upset with them.

Merci Sandrine ;)


Anonymous said...

some richie pic sites are:


Anonymous said...


that last one is mean't to be

Anonymous said...

This article made sense, but the english wasn't translated well, like the grammar and sentence structure was off.

Sorry if I sound like a prat, just letting you know. I'm trying to learn french, so I know how hard translations can be. :)

MaryL said...

you can correct it (I didn't have the time ; the main ideas are here!) and I will post your corrected version (if you stop being anonymous!!!)

thanks for the links to all the anonymous people!!!

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