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14 November, 2014 at 2:35 am in Real Estate
Richie McCaw will wear No6 for the first time in a test at Murrayfield but he's categorically not being reinvented as a blindside longer term.
The skipper wants to be an openside. The coaches want him to be their openside and everyone agrees, especially after his efforts last week at Twickenham, that he is still the best No7 there is.
The decision to shift him to blindside is not one being taken with any view of being made permanent: it is a needs must selection.
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The expectation is that the Scots will start the game with a hiss and a roar and try to play wide and fast.
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The Scots are a bit new to this pass and run malarkey and the All Blacks are hopeful that if they can apply maximum pressure at the breakdown, they may profit greatly.
Pandora Black Beads "One of them has to be the openside and that will be Sam and Rico [McCaw] is going to have to adjust his game and become the six," says All Blacks head coach Steve Hansen.
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"We want to start the game like that because we think Scotland are going to try to play an open game and we want to put as much pressure on them at the breakdown as we can.
"Those two guys are both good at getting over the ball. But how long Rich plays depends on how well the game goes I suppose.
"He's played a lot of minutes and we have got Liam [Messam] in the back-up so I would suggest if we make a sub in the loose forwards it will probably be Rich that gets subbed off."
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There is a nod to the World Cup about this selection, too. What Hansen is particularly keen to avoid is having to test theories, however sound, at the competition itself.
That mistake has been made before. Several times. He doesn't want gut feel to be his only indicator as to whether a specific combination could work. It would be unforgivably bad selecting and coaching to have four years to learn and then use the tournament itself to experiment.
Several times this year Cane has come off the bench and played in tandem with McCaw. It's a combination that has worked well in the latter half of games in 2014.
Cane has got to areas of the field few flankers could and that has allowed McCaw to be both selective and effective about when he commits himself to turnover opportunities.
So now Hansen is taking the opportunity to find out whether it can work from the start of a test. There is no reason to believe it can't and the exercise is really about gaining more confidence in using Cane off the bench in World Cup games than it is about in seeing whether McCaw can handle playing as a blindside.
Cheap Pandora Bracelets Those who have been clamouring for the past few years to shift the skipper from his beloved No 7 jersey will probably still be hopeful that a permanent move is on the cards.
Just as Michael Jones was forced, after successive serious knee injuries, to concede that he'd evolved into a more effective blindside than openside, so too are there endless arguments mounted that McCaw should do the same.