Saturday, November 29, 2008

England not ready to raise the white flag - 28/11/2008

With morale battered by its record 42-6 defeat by South Africa, England is expected to provide flimsy opposition to the world's best team fielding its strongest line-up, including McCaw and Dan Carter. But McCaw does not expect Martin Johnson's side to raise the white flag.

"They'll be hurting and will want to come out and get it right and show they're a good team," he said."We've been in a similar situation ourselves this year. We were beaten twice by the Aussies in July and it was a horrible time. When you get a chance to put it right, and luckily they have a chance seven days later, that's what you have to do. We're expecting them to throw everything into it and they will de desperate. We have to match that intensity or else it will be a long day."

McCaw has raised an eyebrow at England's decision to drop Tom Rees, one of their few outstanding players against the Springboks, for Michael Lipman at openside.

"I'm a little bit surprised, he's a damn good player," said the 27-year-old."All of England's loose forwards played well when they toured in June. It was a physical confrontation with them. I'm sure England have their reasons why they dropped him but the guy who has replaced him must be raring to go."

Not for the first time McCaw has been dogged by claims he treads a fine line, with respected former Australia coach Bob Dwyer claiming he is a serial offender at the breakdown. But the Crusaders back row, who has won 32 of his 69 caps as captain, denied there is 'one law for McCaw'.

"I don't listen to that stuff because it's been said so many times. I don't know why it comes about," he said."Good number sevens can be bloody annoying and if I'm doing that then I'm not doing a bad job."

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