All-rounder Far­rell re­minds McCaw of leg­end Carter

The Rugby Paper - - News - ■ By ADAM HATH­AWAY

RICHIE McCAW be­lieves Owen Far­rell is turn­ing into a North­ern Hemi­sphere ver­sion of Dan Carter.

McCaw, a dou­ble World Cup-win­ning cap­tain, was on the wrong end of Far­rell’s boot when the All Blacks went down 38-21 to Eng­land at Twick­en­ham in De­cem­ber 2012.

Far­rell was only win­ning his 12th cap that day, as he scored 17 points, but has now racked up 53 Test ap­pear­ances for Eng­land and the Bri­tish and Ir­ish ions and 603 in­ter­na­tional points.

Far­rell is a cer­tainty to be named in the Lions squad on Wed­nes­day for the tour to New Zealand and McCaw sees eerie par­al­lels be­tween the English­man and Carter.

Twelve years ago Carter was on top of his game as he helped dec­i­mate the Lions 3-0 and scored 33 points in a sec­ond Test tour de force in Welling­ton.

And McCaw thinks Far­rell is de­vel­op­ing into a sim­i­lar player thanks to Eng­land head coach Ed­die Jones.

McCaw said: “He looks a lot more com­fort­able direct­ing things and he’s been given that bet­ter ser­vice. Where Ed­die has been good is that he has given them a bit of con­fi­dence in how they want to do things.

“Dan played No.12 un­til six months be­fore the Lions and he swapped to 10.

“He wasn’t just a kicker he had ev­ery­thing to his game – a real threat – that is what changed things. His de­fence, his run­ning game and his kick­ing were all good.

“You’ve had play­ers over the years who had two out of three or three out of four of those things but he pretty much had a good han­dle on all of them.

“Guys can think, ‘I can kick the ball’ but some think, ‘I can kick the ball there’. And it’s those guys who look like they have got plenty of time and that is what I saw with Far­rell.

“He looked like he had a lot more time, per­ceived or real, than, per­haps, in the past.

“The English have ben­e­fit­ted from get­ting some good front-foot ball and us­ing a guy like Far­rell. His con­fi­dence has grown like Beau­den Bar­rett’s and he is start­ing to be­lieve in what he can do and direct­ing things pretty damn well.”

For­mer flanker McCaw, who re­tired in 2015, stacked up 148 in­ter­na­tional caps and played the first two Tests against the Lions in 2005 be­fore miss­ing the third through in­jury.

The All Blacks ran riot in the se­ries scor­ing 107 points to 40 but, sur­pris­ingly, McCaw reck­ons it was some of the tough­est rugby he has played and there will be more of the same this time round.

He added: “In 2005 that sec­ond Test, even though the score­line was 48-18, I took a long time to re­cover from. I missed the third through an in­jury but that was a tough match. There was a fair bit of re­spect and peo­ple have seen them win in Aussie four years ago and know it’s go­ing to be ex­actly the same.

“Peo­ple still hugely re­spect what the Lions stand for and the sup­port­ers. Peo­ple talk about how good the sup­port­ers are – they had a hell of a time and made a great at­mos­phere at the games.

“If you look at it from a purely rugby point of view with the po­ten­tial they had did they do what they could have? Maybe not. They were still pretty tough games although the score­line might not sug­gest it.”

McCaw is now fly­ing he­li­copters in New Zealand and was in­volved in the re­lief mis­sion to help earth­quake vic­tims last Novem­ber but is adamant he fin­ished play­ing in the nick of time.

“I am not say­ing I don’t miss things that go with it but I have got no re­grets about fin­ish­ing,” he said. “I en­joyed it but I knew it was the right time to give up.

“I miss that thrill of run­ning out but now, when the fi­nal whis­tle goes, I think it’s quite nice to be sit­ting in the lounge and not feel­ing beaten up and sore.

“I’ve al­ways thought you have got to look for­ward you can’t look back. I have been lucky to do a few cool things and get into a bit of fly­ing. It has not been too bad.

“Another thing that helped me move on is that my good mates who I went through a lot of rugby with all moved on at the same time. It is not as if you are hear­ing from the guys who you are quite close with what you are miss­ing out on. That helped in a way.”

The Richie McCaw Story: Chas­ing Great is avail­able on digital and DVD

PIC­TURES: Getty Images

Run­ning the show: Eng­land in­side-cen­tre Owen Far­rell. In­set: Dan Carter scores dur­ing the sec­ond Lions Test in 2005

Ad­mirer: Richie Mccaw

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