Richie McCaw to stay at number seven

Richie McCaw
© PA Photos
All Blacks captain Richie McCaw will not move from number seven to eight on a permanent basis.

All Blacks captain Richie McCaw will stay an open-side flanker despite putting in a shift at number eight last week.

Speculation was rife that McCaw would replace Kieran Read at the back of the scrum for New Zealand’s Tri-Nations match against South Africa on Saturday, but these suggestions have been ruled out by assistant coach Steve Hansen.

Read was rested for New Zealand’s friendly with on Friday, and will be on the bench for the team’s Boks test on Saturday alongside prop Owen Franks, lock Brad Thorn and hooker Keven Mealamu.

Despite an impressive showing at number eight, Hansen believes that McCaw’s long-term future is at seven.

"There's no big plan to turn Richie McCaw into a number eight, other than when we need him to go there as a back-up player," he said.

"He's the best number seven in the world so I'm hoping his long-term future is at number seven.”