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Target McCaw in all phases

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The 2005 British & Irish Lions tried to 'target McCaw in all phases'

Just how influential legendary All Black open side Richie McCaw was as a player is widely known, but the extent to which teams tried to nullify him is not.

In a revealing post on social media, former Welsh centre Tom Shanklin shared a copy of the British & Irish Lions run sheet from the ill-fated 2005 tour of New Zealand which summarised the team’s game plan. The game plan also reveals that Lions management believed the All Blacks were cheaters and that the team hates ‘not being able to cheat for the ball on the floor’

The instructions for Clive Woodward’s men include ‘target Umaga/McCaw/Marshall’, ‘target the 12/13 channel’ and ‘target McCaw in all phases.’

There is no mention of Dan Carter, who famously ran riot in the second test scoring 33 points in a 48-18 win that sealed the series in what is regarded as the most complete performance by a 10 in history.

The Lions were planning to rely on their lineout strength and kicking game with Johnny Wilkinson but were well and truly beaten 3-0. The game plan also has reference to ‘winning the ‘bully’ contest’.

In a surprising addition, the right side of the sheet lists all the things ‘NZ hate’ which includes when ‘their Mana player is ineffective @ breakdown’ and ‘knowing they have a vulnerable area’.

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The 2005 British & Irish Lions tried to 'target McCaw in all phases'