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Thu 29 Sep 2022

Rugby Legend McCaw tackles New Zealand shakedown

No stranger to taking on the world’s toughest rugby players, former All Black Richie McCaw was tackling an all-new challenge at Repco Rally New Zealand on Thursday morning.

The two-time Rugby World Cup-winning captain was quick to say 'yes' when offered a seat alongside M-Sport Ford driver Gus Greensmith for a shakedown run.

McCaw’s imposing frame made for a tight fit in the Ford Puma but it failed to slow Greensmith, who produced his quickest time of the morning to take sixth in the short and snappy warm-up test.

“That is unbelievable, I do not know how you keep the car on the road doing that…unreal,” beamed McCaw moments after crossing the flying finish.

Informed he had been onboard for Greensmith’s quickest run, McCaw joked: “I would be happy to sit there all day.

“I was just grinning from ear to ear and soaking it up. I am pleased I did not hold him up!

“A lot of people have said you will be blown away by the experience. I thought it was going to be cool but that was something unreal. The speed we were going blew me away.”

Admitting to not knowing who McCaw was until soon before the rally, Greensmith created a certain amount of envy among his rugby-loving friend group.

“I never really got into rugby but all my friends are big, big rugby fans. When I told them I was taking a rugby legend and sent them a screenshot of his Instagram, they all just said, ‘No way, no you’re not, no you’re not.’ 

“It was mega cool to get him into the car, [he’s a] really nice guy and he seemed to enjoy it.”

McCaw was impressed with the number of fans out on the stage and stressed the importance of major events such as the WRC coming to New Zealand.

“Motorsport and certainly rallying is a big part of the New Zealand psyche. A lot of people follow it, you can see the people lined up on the road even on this small stage. Everyone is excited about it. It is brilliant it is back.­”

Rugby Legend Richie McCaw tackles Shakedown
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