"Cause Carnage" - Richie McCaw Picks Three Teams for Rugby World Cup Upsets - Ruck

“Cause Carnage” – Richie McCaw Picks Three Teams for Rugby World Cup Upsets

All Blacks legend Richie McCaw has identified three teams who could upset the order at the 2023 Rugby World Cup. The former flanker believes that Australia, Argentina and Wales are contenders to disrupt the predicted flow of the competition.

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In an interview with World Rugby, McCaw highlighted how the lower ranked nations in the Top 10, have the potential to beat the favourites for the Web Ellis trophy in a one-off knockout match.

“McCaw is excited to see the teams progress out of the group, and ’cause some real carnage’ in the quarter finals.


“When you look at the top 10 in the rankings, results have shown that the teams ranked seven, eight and nine (Australia, Argentina and Wales) have got the ability to knock over one of the big guys, once.

“But to go on and win it, you need to do that three weeks in a row and I am not sure some of those teams have got the ability to do that.

“The good thing is those teams all could get into a quarter-final and cause some real carnage. And if you do get a couple of results like that it might open the door for someone else to have a bit of a run and get more belief that they can actually do it. I think that’s what’s made the lead-up to this tournament so interesting.”

McCaw elaborated on his prediction for Australia to upset the cart, with Eddie Jones at the helm. The two-time Rugby World Cup winner believes that his former Bledisloe Cup rivals have the potential for a prolonged run in the competition.

Eddie Jones, Coach of Barbarians during the The Killik Cup Match between Barbarians and World XV at Twickenham Stadium on 28 May 2023. Photo: Tom Sandberg/PPAUK

“Eddie Jones, whatever team he takes over, he usually causes some change pretty quick and they get a real bounce and he will probably do the same with the Aussies.

“You might think they might not be where you would usually consider them to be, but they have a unique way of using what they have got to be right in the mix.”

McCaw alluded to nailing his All Black colours to the mast, in support of his country at the showpiece event. However, the 42-year-old believes that the competition has no clear-cut winner, with the likes of France, Ireland and New Zealand all throwing their hat in the ring for the honour of being crowned World Champions.

Celebrations for Charles Ollivon of France having scored a try during the Guinness Six Nations match between England and France at Twickenham Stadium, Twickenham, London on Saturday 11th March 2023 | Photo: James Fearn/PPAUK.

“Putting aside my allegiances for wanting the All Blacks to do well, I think it is pretty wide open as to who might win.”

“I guess from a New Zealand point of view, in the past you have sort of always knew that if they can put it together they can go and get the job done, whereas after the last year you sort of go, ‘jeepers, there is going to have to be some improvements to put the team in the right spot’,” he said.

“I guess from a northern hemisphere point of view, Ireland have set the pace in the Six Nations and the French aren’t that far behind, so it makes it pretty intriguing. There is no doubt that people consider the French and the Irish have got a pretty good chance of winning.” 

McCaw continued to discuss how he doesn’t view the World Rugby rankings as gospel, yet identified how Ireland are posing an undeniable threat. Andy Farrell’s men are pushing to bring the Web Ellis trophy to Ireland for the first time, and McCaw doesn’t doubt their claim to do so.

“As we have found out in years gone by, where you are ranked going into a World Cup, actually doesn’t necessarily count for a whole lot.

“But just to put aside the rankings, I got to see the Irish in New Zealand last year for three tests and there is a quite a strong resolve about them, of knowing they are on a mission.

Bundee Aki of Ireland watching the on going scrum during the Six Nations Championship match between England and Ireland at Twickenham Stadium, Twickenham, London on the 12th March 2022 – PHOTO: George Tewkesbury/PPAUK

“The way they put together that series win was pretty impressive and they have backed it up again just recently so it is going to make it interesting.”