Former All Blacks star Dan Carter has revealed the tremendous amount of pain his captain Richie McCaw was in during the 2011 Rugby World Cup.
New Zealand ended a 24-year wait to get their hands on the Web Ellis Cup, when McCaw and co. defeated France at Eden Park in the World Cup final in 2011.
McCaw played in five of the All Blacks seven games at the tournament, despite having a badly broken foot.
« Dominici, c’était le French flair » en Une de Midi Olympique.
— Midi Olympique (@midi_olympique) December 10, 2020
The New Zealand captain had injured his foot in January of that year with his Super Rugby side the Crusaders, and missed the first six weeks of the season.
The three-time World Rugby player of the year got a screw inserted into his foot to help alleviate the injury,but his foot never healed properly from the surgery.
‘He wasn’t training for those three weeks’
Carter, who missed the tournament due to a groin injury, told French newspaper Midi Olympique, about the lengths McCaw went through to captain his country at the World Cup.
“During this period, he completely forgot about the pain. Except after the games when he couldn’t walk for three days.
“He was seen covered in sores and bruises, limping through the weekend. Then came the game and he would do the same again.
“We wondered how he did it, but it inspired us all. He played and won a quarterfinal, a semifinal and a World Cup final with a broken foot.
“He wasn’t training for those three weeks. He just walked the week, and put the pain aside for games,” Carter explained.
While it was known at the time that McCaw was struggling with an injury, its severity was unknown, and the man himself repeatedly played down its seriousness when speaking to the media.
“‘Nah, I’ll be fine,’ I keep telling anyone who’ll listen, media, team-mates, coaches, myself. ‘Just can’t train because it’ll get a bit sore, but I’m ready to go. I’m good to go.’ And I am. I believe it,” wrote McCaw in his own book ‘The Open Side’.