By Cameron McMillan and Simon Baker
Thursday May 19, 2011
All Blacks skipper Richie McCaw is set to decide on his playing future in the next week with signs pointing to him following Dan Carter and re-signing with the New Zealand Rugby Union.
Carter yesterday re-signed with the NZRU for another four years however McCaw has yet to put pen to paper with his current contract expiring after the World Cup.
At Crusaders training today the flanker told the Herald that now the side are back in the country he can look at deciding on his playing future.
"I haven't signed yet because I haven't said anything yet but hopefully in the next week or so get things sorted. Still working through a couple of things but, (we're) getting pretty close which is good," the 30-year-old said.
"I've actually been away for the last three weeks so haven't been able to go through that but this week will try and get this sorted and hopefully in the next week or so get it all under control."
But McCaw hinted that he may remain in the country because he's still enjoying his rugby, despite his lack of game time this season.
"The reason I want to stay, and look to stay, is if I'm enjoying it. I've never made any bones about that. I haven't played much this year and I'm keen to get out on the field and play. That's a good sign.
"If you're enjoying not playing you'd start questioning it but I certainly have the hunger this year, to want to be out on the field is there. You take those into consideration."
With European clubs willing to offer big money contracts it may please All Blacks fans to hear McCaw saying money is not a factor.
"If it's just what goes into your bank account, I think no matter what job you did it, if that was the case it doesn't last that long. I think the All Black jersey, as Dan said it yesterday, is a big carrot."
"That just shows to have guys who have to be in New Zealand to play that's still a pretty cool thing to have because it means a hell out a lot to the guys that play here."
McCaw has pleased that Carter will remain in the black jersey for another four years but said they didn't discuss contracts.
"It's bloody good that he has re-signed for New Zealand rugby and the Crusaders. Certainly as a fella that plays in his team it's great to have a guy like that for an extended period.
"I think you've got to make your own decisions. We mentioned things but you haven't gone into depth because you've got to make your own decision based on your own circumstances.
"I'm just thankful just like everyone else is that he's decided to commit for a while."
Crusaders coach Todd Blackadder said he didn't have any inside word on whether McCaw was staying.
"Unless he's going to get a $2m offer from a big club I'd hope that we would stay but no I don't know."
Blackadder said the re-signing of Carter was a good sign for New Zealand rugby
"It's fantastic isn't it? Every time you look through the media you see there's a player leaving. It's just great to hear that we're retaining our best players, I think it's fantastic.
"He's such a good role model here. We know his value. I think it's a good signal. We're always looking for the next best guy, isn't it great we can actually keep some experience here and it's quite often proven that it's the most experienced players that make the best decisions or play good quality rugby. Brad Thorn is a great example of keeping experience."
Blackadder, McCaw on Carter's re-signing
Crusaders coach Todd Blackadder and All Black skipper Richie McCaw talk about Dan Carter re-signing with the NZRU for another four years.