McCaw could miss World Cup final

5:45 pm on 25 October 2015

The All Blacks skipper Richie McCaw could miss the World Cup final if he's deemed to have deliberately elbowed Francois Louw in New Zealand's 20-18 victory over South Africa.

The All Blacks captain struck Louw on the forehead midway through the first half.

Louw finished the match with two wounds to his forehead requiring a total of 20 stitches.

The citing officer has up to 36 hours after the match has ended to lodge a complaint.

Striking with the elbow carries a two week suspension, and if McCaw is suspended it could be a premature end to his career - as he's expected to retire from top class rugby after the World Cup.

But former All Black and commentator Ian Jones doesn't believe Richie McCaw will miss the World Cup final over the incident.

Jones said he did not think that a complaint would be made.

"The citing commissioner would have seen it clearly and he'd deem if it was worthy of a citing or not. The South Africans I believe can make that request but they can't cite themselves and I don't see it in the spirit of the game and relationship between our two countries to do that."

"He's got so much integrity Richie McCaw, so much mana, in his 140 odd games he's proved to us and proved to the rest of the world that he's not that type of player."

Will All Blacks skipper Richie McCaw be available to lead his side in the World Cup final?

Will All Blacks skipper Richie McCaw be available to lead his side in the World Cup final? Photo: Photosport

The All Blacks will play the winner of tomorrow morning's second semi final between Australia and Argentina in next Sunday morning's final.

The Springboks will have to play off for third against the loser.

Meanwhile All Blacks coach Steve Hansen said the leadership of captain Richie McCaw and his All Blacks lieutenants, four of them with more than 100 caps, saw New Zealand through to their fourth Rugby World Cup final.

"I was really proud of the composure our guys showed to come back out (in the second half) and get a little bit of ascendancy," Hansen said.

"Experience allows that to happen. We've probably got the best skipper and player in the world," he said of McCaw, who won his 147th cap.

"It's ironic, in 2007 he was criticised a lot and I know that hurt him. His leadership skills have grown, our leadership group on the pitch have a massive amount of self belief."

McCaw led the New Zealand side beaten by France in the Cardiff quarter-final in 2007 before the All Blacks won their second title at home four years later.

First five Dan Carter, who surpassed Grant Fox as New Zealand's top World Cup points scorer by taking his tally to 172 in the match won his 111th cap, Ma'a Nonu his 102nd and fellow centre Conrad Smith his 93rd, number eight Kieran Read his 83rd and replacement hooker Keven Mealamu took his tally to 131.

-AAP

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