James Mortimer 13.Jun.2013Getty Images
Richie McCaw, whose last rugby match was against England at Twickenham in December last year, is now back in New Zealand and the sight of the 116-Test veteran will be more commonplace in coming weeks as he prepares to make his rugby comeback.
It was something that the captain was looking forward too, with the break from rugby rekindling his love for the game, telling 3News that he was excited, which was a good sign.
“Who knows what's going to happen,” McCaw said, clearly refreshed after his break.
“But I certainly feel, three or four weeks from my first run around, I'm starting to feel like I'm looking forward to that and that's a good thing. You never know what's down the track, but it gives me a pretty good chance anyway (of making a successful return).
Interestingly, when speaking to the NZ Herald, McCaw said that it wasn’t so much that he felt like a physical marvel away from the intense combat of rugby, but rather that it allowed him to listen to his body and ensure he felt 100% before coming back to rugby’s highest stage.
“I took a bit of time out over Christmas when I didn't do a lot,” he said.
“But you actually feel a little worse when you don't do anything. From then on I kept up a bit of running and biking and not too many days went past when I didn't do something. Then you start to feel better. That's the key, to keep things ticking over and it's become a lot easier now. It's amazing how your body adapts to being bashed around.”
McCaw says he has kept within his playing weight of 107kg, although many might suggest that the powerful and purposeful gait the All Blacks captain has taken a perhaps temporary backseat to a more relaxed poise, at least until he straps on the boots again.
“I'm in the sixth week of pretty full-on training.” He said.
“I'm starting to feel pretty good. Another five weeks of this and it will be an 11- or 12-week pre-season which I haven't had for years. My aim is to be in better nick than I have in the past couple of years.
"With my foot injury and so on I've always been rushed. I wanted to not only have a break but also have a chance to get myself in good shape, which I have done. At the start of 2008 when we had good time off after the World Cup, that was the last chance to get a good bit of running in and get a base there and in the gym."