England 22 New Zealand 30: McCaw tips Red Rose as World Cup rivals
England 22 New Zealand 30: Richie McCaw believes the Red Rose are contenders to win World Cup in 2015
Richie McCaw believes England are among the contenders to win the World Cup in 2015 after the All Blacks were forced to dig deep to beat the Red Rose at Twickenham.
The visitors surged into an early second-minute lead thanks to Julian Savea before the Kiwis extended their advantage to 14 points when Kieran Read finished off a sweeping move.
England responded, and Joe Launchbury capitalised on a poor All Blacks scrum, whilst Owen Farrell kept the scoreboard ticking over to leave the half-time score at 16-20.
Two more penalties from the England fly-half put the hosts in front for the first time at Twickenham but the world champions rallied as Savea scored his second try of the afternoon which helped seal a close win.
“England played very well and they had the momentum for a while,” said McCaw, who lifted the World Cup in 2011.
“There is not much between the top nations in the world and it is all about not standing still. We all have to be better in two years.”
New Zealand are one game away from completing 2014 unbeaten but McCaw warned the All Blacks against complacency ahead of their clash against Ireland at the Aviva Stadium next weekend.
“We’ve given ourselves the opportunity — the key is not turning up thinking it will happen,” McCaw added.