All Blacks inspired by Olympic legend - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

All Blacks inspired by Olympic legend

By Darren Walton 27/10/2009 08:38:50 PM Comments (0)

Richie McCaw says the All Blacks will be drawing inspiration from Olympic great Sir Peter Snell when they tackle the Wallabies in Saturday's historic Bledisloe Cup Test at Japan's National Stadium.

Snell, New Zealand's most celebrated sportsman, famously won the 800m and 1500m at the venue at the 1964 Tokyo Games, after collecting his first gold medal in the 800m four years earlier in Rome.

Voted New Zealand's Sports Champion of the 20th Century, the now Texas-based Snell will be a special guest at Saturday's match - the first-ever Bledisloe Test contested in Japan, who this year won the right to host the 2019 Rugby World Cup.

McCaw said Snell's legendary deeds had not been lost on the All Blacks.

"There are some special things from a New Zealand point of view (about coming here) and you acknowledge them," the Kiwi captain said on Tuesday.

"Obviously at the Tokyo Olympics, Peter Snell won two gold medals in the half-mile and the mile and Pete comes down here on Friday so I guess when we go to the ground before the game it might be mentioned."

McCaw promised locals there was no way the All Blacks would treat the match as merely an exhibition.

"There is a lot of Test-match rugby these days and I think ideally you wouldn't have so much," he said.

"But the reality is these games are needed and, as a player, no matter how many times you come up against the Wallabies you realise it's a tough match and you want to do as best you can.

"So Saturday will be exactly like that."

Wallabies captain Rocky Elsom echoed McCaw's sentiments.

"In a lot of ways we are very fortunate to play New Zealand so many times," Elsom said.

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