3 Dec 2008

McCaw relaxed ahead of Baabaas game

12:12 pm on 3 December 2008

All Blacks captain Richie McCaw says he's enjoying the relaxed atmosphere heading into his debut for the Barbarians in tomorrow morning's Olympic centenary clash with Australia at Wembley.

McCaw is excited about ending a tough, high-pressure season playing alongside many of his greatest rivals.

McCaw and South African John Smit, rival captains in the Tri-Nations and Super 14, are rooming together.

He says you're alongside people you wouldn't normally have a chance to play with, they don't normally see each other after games, so being able to sit and have a beer and a yarn without worrying about the pressures of next week is unique.

McCaw says rooming with guys you normally beat the hell out of - or vice versa - is pretty good.

There are 4 New Zealanders in the starting lineup, McCaw, Jerry Collins, Rico Gear and Joe Rokocoko with Chris Jack in the reserves.

The Wallabies have included 18-year-old James O'Connor at fullback while uncapped Brumbies lock Peter Kimlin features among the reserves.

George Smith captains the Australia team while winger Lote Tuqiri returns from knee surgery.

The match has been organised as part of the British Olympic Association's celebrations of the first London Olympics.

Australia won the rugby gold medal in 1908 with a 32-3 victory over Great Britain, which was represented by Cornwall.