McCaw - Farrell looks a bit like Carter

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    17 Apr 2017     Getty Images

McCaw told The Rugby Paper he saw some parallels between Farrell's recent play and Carter's advance during the last British & Irish Lions tour in 2005 when Carter shot to international prominence on the back of outstanding displays in the first and second Tests of the series.


McCaw said he believed Farrell was developing along similar lines to Carter thanks to the work of England coach Eddie Jones.

"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," McCaw said.

There had been players with two or three, or three or four, of those qualities but Carter was good in all departments.

"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," McCaw said.

Getting front-foot ball also helped Farrell and his confidence had grown much in the way that Beauden Barrett had blossomed and they were both starting to believe in what they could do and directing play accordingly.

McCaw said the 2005 series against the Lions had involved some of the toughest rugby he had played and it wouldn't be any different in 2017.

"In 2005, that second Test, even though the scoreline was 48-18, I took a long time to recover from [it]. 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," he said.

McCaw said that while he didn't miss some of the aspects of being involved in playing, he had no regrets about finishing.

"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," he said.

It also helped that a core group of players he had been involved with retired at the same time so it wasn't a case of hearing from them what he might be missing out on.