"Not England" - Richie McCaw predicts the 2023 Rugby World Cup winner - Ruck

“Not England” – Richie McCaw predicts the 2023 Rugby World Cup winner

Former All Blacks captain Richie McCaw believes two nations from the northern hemisphere are the Curren favourites to win the 2023 Rugby World Cup.

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Talking to World Rugby while in London as part of the New Zealand delegation invited to attend King Charles III’s coronation, he’s also backed one nation to be a surprise package.

Expect shocks, says McCaw

“When you look at the top 10 in the rankings, results have shown that the teams ranked seven, eight and nine 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,” he reasoned.

“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.”


Ireland to win the Rugby World Cup?

“I’m really looking forward to it, for a few reasons,” said McCaw.

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

“You are not too sure what might happen. So there is that side of it and, 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’.

“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.”

His surprise package

While McCaw’s impressive track record suggests that he may have secured the Bledisloe Cup more times than any other captain in history, he holds the view that Australia, particularly under the leadership of Eddie Jones, could emerge as an unexpected contender.

“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.”

Mad dog Moody” – Richie McCaw ranks his five toughest opponents

#5. Lewis Moody (England)

  • Position Back-row
  • Height 6 ft 3 in
  • Weight 225 lb
  • Caps 71

Moody was known for the enthusiasm with which he plays the game, his willingness to chase down opponents and his ability to compete for possession at restarts, earning him the nickname “Mad Dog” from teammates and supporters.

Richie McCaw said: “I had got a lot of respect for the way he played, he threw himself into a lot of it. Moody was a little bit different to most flankers – he was also a ball carrier and he could put a lot of pressure on backlines.”

Lewis Moody shares a joke with Mike Tindall – Photo mandatory by-line:Phil Mingo/Pinnacle – Tel: +44(0)1363 881025 – Mobile:0797 1270 681 – VAT Reg No: 768 6958 48 – 19/03/2011 – RUBY UNION – RBS Six Nations – Ireland v England – Aviva Stadium, Lansdowne Road, Dublin, Ireland