In a press conference recently, Richie McCaw said “It’s a real honour, I feel like there’s some rumours about that I need to dispel and this is the best opportunity to do that.”
On the announcement of his upcoming movie ‘The Offside ,’ All Black legend Richie McCaw has promised that this will deliver the most in depth and personal account of his career to date.
It’s not been easy for McCaw. He’s the first to admit that without some serious fortune, his rugby would never have reached its pinnacle. “There were times where I was looking at some of the lads around me, some of the real hard hitters and thought – I don’t have a chance in hell in making it.”
The All Black’s selection process prides itself on being as authentic as their work at the breakdown. Being a third generation New Zealander, McCaw knew his heritage may prove an obstacle. Luckily he was able to prove his Scottish routes and as such was permitted to lead his team once again, the perfect end to a career and subsequent promotion for his upcoming film.
As the most capped team at RWC 2015 this summer, familiar faces were abundant in the All Black line up. Richie said it was testament to the way the squad bonded that they were able to bring over 1000 caps to Britain. “We do everything together, everything.”
The like of Carter, Reid, Nonu and McCaw facing you in a Haka is daunting, to say the very least. However, McCaw was the first to understand that not everyone would grant them the celebrity treatment. “It’s difficult when you have to go and introduce yourself to younger members in other international line ups, the older guys know the score so they just get the print out, but the younger spunky ones need to be sat down.”
Players have been cautioned in the past for attempting to compete with some of the All Black’s most pivotal members. It’s been an ongoing problem since McCaw can remember, but an issue that the retired All Black takes incredibly seriously. “We understand that putting on a show is a big part of the game, but there’s a strict code to keep things professional and safe.” Following on from their near miss in 2011, McCaw applauded the French for making amends this year, particularly French captain Dussatoir, who he’d sat down with the night before the 62-13 RWC Quarter Final. “Teddy’s a good sport. We talked through strategy and he knew his team’s role. They delivered a performance France should be proud of.”
There was speculation that England RFU, amongst other French clubs, were looking to get McCaw’s signature going into the New Year. McCaw was quick to refute the claim. England infamously wore an all-black strip to New Zealand in 2011, it was a slight that McCaw has never quite been able to get over. “It was a bit like the ugly maid of honour turning up in all white and trying to jump the groom, unacceptable and unforgivable.” He was less quick to dismiss the French rumours, he said there had been some talks in a WhatsApp group he was a part of but nothing had come from it. “Wilko and Gits were bigging up the lifestyle over there but to be honest I’m happy to remain out of Europe for as long as I can. I recognise the earning potential but I’d rather leave whilst playing top tier rugby.”
McCaw’s focus right now is on promoting ‘The Offside.’ When a sports star allows such an in depth look into their life, it’s critical they get all the details. McCaw has eschewed the vehicles of publicity his entire career, sticking to his principals and the values he’s had since he was a young boy. “I guess grass-roots is how you’d describe it, nutritious and good for your gut.”
It’s people like McCaw in the game that keep it so pure and honourable. The press conference and the film are about as public facing as Richie ever really wants to get, despite fans of the game clamouring for a piece of the legend. “If anything, this is where I’m truly offside, being in this position right now, on the pitch the offside rule is a bit of an old wives’ tale.”
The director didn’t want the tale of the All Black to be dominated by the game itself. The most important aspect of the film was to make it as objective as possible, so people with a new interest in the sport don’t get weighed down with the rules and regulations, but rather come into it from the side and get in amongst it. “We needed to make the film as loyal to Richie as possible.”
The film will be released in 2016.
The official trailer sparked a viral hashtag #HandsOffBlackSeven