Richie McCaw supports new tackle laws

He also considers himself lucky to have avoided any long-term injuries

BY Simon Maguire 18:22 Thursday 9 February 2017, 18:22 9 Feb 2017

Richie McCaw. Image: ©INPHO/Photosport/Andrew Cornaga

New Zealand legend Richie McCaw has come out in support of the new tackle laws introduced by World Rugby.

Speaking to the Daily Mail he said: "If it's going to change attitudes about how to tackle and make it safer for players, without ruining how the game's played, I don't see it being a problem. People have got to adapt a little bit. That's what you' ve got to do as a sportsman.

"If it's done so it doesn't change the game then I'm in favour. When you're playing the game the last thing you want is a swinging arm around the head. That's not why you play the game.

"I heard some stuff about how it's going to take the physical nature away from the game but I don't think that's the case. I don't know. Time will tell. I know there was a bit of hysteria when it first came in about how rugby is finished. All that sort of stuff. But I don't think that's going to be the case.

All Blacks' captain Richie McCaw celebrates with the Webb Ellis cup
Image: ©INPHO/Photosport/Andrew Cornaga

"The last thing you want is people to be badly hurt. The concussion thing will always be there because it's a physical game.

"But as long as the right people are making the right decisions about returning to play and looking after people I'm not sure what else you can do."

McCaw has gone down as one of the greatest (if not the greatest) players New Zealand have ever produced. He led the All Blacks to back-to-back World Cup wins and holds the international caps record having played 148 times for his country.

Looking back at his career he said: "I got lucky. The fact I can go running and do whatever exercise I want without any pain after 15 years of it I must admit I'm pretty lucky."

"I look at the physicality in the past 12 months and think 'jeez is it really like that?' It's worse than it was when I was playing. I guess you get used to it and just get on with it.

"If you look too closely at the game it's silly really when you bash the hell out of each other. But it's fun and if you took the risk out of everything you wouldn't do anything in your life," he added. 

Off The Ball


The very best bits of Off The Ball delivered every week