McCaw tips England to recover

All Blacks skipper Richie McCaw reckons England will be a better side at the World Cup after missing out on an RBS 6 Nations Grand Slam. [more]

McCaw tips England to recover

All Blacks skipper Richie McCaw reckons England will be a better side at the World Cup after missing out on an RBS 6 Nations Grand Slam.

England clinched the Championship title but fell to a 24-8 defeat to Ireland that put an end to any hopes of an historic Grand Slam.

But McCaw, who played against the Lions in 2005, insists England will benefit from the lessons learnt in defeat and will be a better team at the World Cup.

"As long as you're winning and learning your lessons I'm sure they will be better for those experiences," McCaw told the BBC.

"I'm sure that later on in the year England will take all the positives out of that."

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McCaw is also wary of the threat posed by the other major northern hemisphere nations, pointing to the 2007 World Cup when New Zealand lost to France.

"If you look at what happened before the last World Cup and then what happened at the wash-up, then yes I expect the northern hemisphere teams will be challenging," added McCaw.

"England tripped up against Ireland but they certainly showed they know how to win games.

"If you look at the personnel the French have and even the Welsh, they can all be threats.

"Things will change between now and then, there's lots of time for that in the build-up. Teams will go up a level.

"We won't take anyone for granted, we've learnt those lessons I can tell you."

New Zealand have been favourites at every single World Cup but have only managed to lift the William Webb Ellis trophy in the inaugural tournament in 1987. And McCaw is determined to banish the chokers tag by winning the tournament which kicks-off in September.

"There's a few of us in the team who have been through those experiences and you hope those experiences will hurt.

"You can't hide from it, it's there and we have to deal with it. The World Cup should be tough to win. That's why people appreciate it.

"I don't think there's a mental block with the All Blacks. You know what you need to do, it's just a matter of doing it.

"All teams will feel the pressure. You have to be excited about it, which is a subtle difference in the way you view it."

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