The 148-Test, two-time World Cup-winning captain, said on the All Blacks Podcast powered by SAP: "I'm really looking forward to it. I don't think we've had this sort of anticipation for a mid-year series in a long time."
McCaw said he had played in some close games against the Irish, at Carisbrook in 2002 (15-6), then in Christchurch in 2012 (22-19) and Dublin in 2013 (24-22).
"If you didn't get it right, you could easily have got knocked over, and they've shown in the last wee while they're more capable.
"I guess when you start to have that belief, it's like a lot of things, once you get across the line, you know these guys aren't unbeatable, and with what happened last year, I'm sure the Irish will come down here with the opportunity that they see.
"But I know the All Blacks will be hurting with what happened," he said.
They have waited six months to put a better memory in the bank.
Being the first Test of a new season for the All Blacks, McCaw said he remembered the difference between northern hemisphere rugby and Super Rugby was seen at the contact area and the breakdown.
"It just seems to have a different edge to it, and even if you're playing well, you go in there, and the first 20 minutes of that first Test is always like, 'Wow, that's right, I remember what this is all about.'
"You've got to meet that otherwise that's where you can't get your game going. The times you have struggled to get going you put it down to a bit of rust and not being together but it's often because you haven't got that contact area right," he said.
The All Blacks needed to ensure they could get some ball to make good decisions so their talented players could show why they were selected.