All Blacks Legend Richie McCaw Has His Say On The New Tackle Laws

All Blacks legend Richie McCaw supports the new tackle directives.

The former Crusaders man, who retired after he led his country to a second successive Rugby World Cup, believes if it’s going to make rugby safer for players, then it’s the right thing to do.

McCaw doesn’t believe it’s going to take from the physical nature of the game, as some people critical of the new directives have stated.

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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.

“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.”

Looking back on his career, McCaw says he considers himself lucky that he’s not suffering any after effects after a gruelling 15 year career. He reckons it’s silly when you think how physical a game rugby is, but if you took the risk out of everything, you wouldn’t do anything in life.

“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.