17 Jul 2009

McCaw ready to battle Australia's three open side flankers

6:16 am on 17 July 2009

Returning All Blacks captain Richie McCaw says he is ready to do battle with three Australian flankers in Saturday's Bledisloe Cup opener despite having played just 42 minutes of club rugby since the Super 14.

McCaw says he is unconcerned the Wallabies have three openside flankers in their team in George Smith, Phil Waugh and David Pocock.

He says the selection may hinder the Wallabies in the lineouts, so there were pros and cons to the selection.

McCaw says when he had played in a team with another openside flanker there was sometimes confusion.

He expects George Smith will revert to a more traditional six or eight role when other oppensides came on.

McCaw did see what Australian coach Robbie Deans had in mind by naming Pocock and Waugh on the bench given the Wallabies' fade-outs against the All Blacks in Brisbane and Hong Kong last year.

Arch rival Smith will play his 100th Test on Saturday and McCaw reflected on his first meeting with a player he has already ranked as among his toughest opponents.