All Blacks captain Richie McCaw was unable to swap his jersey with French flanker Julien Bonnaire following his team’s 8-7 win in the Rugby World Cup Final.
McCaw, who has a lot of time for sentiment, clearly felt his jersey was too special, with Bonnaire also disappointed not to exchange with the All Blacks captain during their 37-17 pool stage clash – with that being the openside flanker’s 100th test.
While McCaw proudly follows tradition, giving away two All Black jerseys that will no doubt be proudly displayed in his home would be difficult, a test centurion’s jumper and the jersey worn by the captain of a World Cup winning team.
Bonnaire, who was brilliant for France throughout the tournament, understood McCaw’s reasoning.
"I went to see him in the locker room but he told me that he had just one and that he wanted to keep it,” he said.
“I asked him the last time too but it was his 100th cap so he wanted to keep it as well. I was unlucky but never mind, that's okay."
While Bonnaire may have wanted a piece of history with a swap of the All Blacks captain’s jersey, French forward Fabien Barcella said he wouldn’t swap his jersey for anything.
“Tonight I am proud to be French,” he said.
“I wouldn't want to swap my jersey to be an All Black for anything in the world."
Barcella also praised the Les Bleus fighting spirit, encapsulated at the beginning of the test when the players held hands in a dramatic V formation and advanced on the All Blacks haka.
There is the potential that the International Rugby Board will fine France for this.
“We wanted to do something tonight,” Barcella said.
“It was pretty cool, I believe." Barcella said.
"We were 30 tonight. It was a V for Victory, but tonight we are just really sad."