McCaw understands Irish ambitions

NZ Newswire Updated May 22, 2012, 12:30 pm

All Blacks skipper Richie McCaw can understand Ireland's ambition in targeting a series win on their three-Test rugby tour of New Zealand.

The Irish have never beaten the All Blacks in 24 encounters going back more than a century, but coach Declan Kidney says the tourists' goal is to take out the June series.

McCaw says Ireland are doing what every team does.

"You plan to do that every time you go and play, don't you - you go in to win," he told journalists on Tuesday.

"We all have the same ambition and it will come down to the best team to do that."

Ten of McCaw's 103 Tests, including his debut, have been against Ireland and he expected a tough battle in the upcoming series.

"I've never played against an Irish team that's really been very easy, to be honest," he said.

"We've always had good challenges over the years we've played them, especially out here in New Zealand. It's going to be a good challenge for us."

Kidney has named a 29-man squad, to be skippered by centre Brian O'Driscoll, and has included three uncapped players in Ulster prop Declan Fitzpatrick and the Munster duo of hooker Mike Sherry and winger Simon Zebo.

He has left open four places, with New Zealand-born halfback Isaac Boss tipped to fill one of the vacant berths.

Kidney said the new faces had earned their places and he made it clear he would not be experimenting on tour.

"The objective is to win the series, first and foremost, and to work downward from there," he said.

"We know the record. We have never beaten New Zealand and to beat them would be a great achievement, but it would be disrespect to the jersey not to go for [the series win]."

The first Test is Auckland on June 9, with Christchurch and Hamilton hosting the other Tests on June 16 and June 23.

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