NSW 'boys in blue' behind McCaw, All Blacks

TOBY ROBSON IN SYDNEY
Last updated 15:49 17/08/2012
Richie McCaw
PETER MEECHAM/Fairfax NZ
THIN BLACK LINE: Eight members of the NSW police were at the All Blacks' captain's run to meet Richie McCaw, who thanked them for their efforts during the Christchurch earthquake recovery.

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It was suggested in jest that the police had arrived at the All Blacks captain's run to take Richie McCaw into custody ahead of tomorrow's Bledisloe Cup test for stealing ball at the breakdown.

In fact, the eight officers from the New South Wales Police made the trip out to ANZ Stadium today especially to meet the All Blacks and Crusaders captain.

It turns out the boys, and girls, in blue were part of a special detail that headed to Christchurch in the aftermath of last year's devastating earthquake to aid in the recovery effort.

McCaw was keen to say thank you as a Cantabrian and took time to talk and have his photo taken at the match venue after putting the finishing touches on his team's preparation.

"I met a couple of them last year when they were in Wellington and I know a few of the Crusaders boys went down and saw the policemen who had come out to help in Christchurch after the earthquake," McCaw said.

"I think everyone is pretty impressed with what they did, and they seem like a nice bunch of people, so it's nice to say gidday."

McCaw was genuinely humbled to be presented with an official NSW Police cap, but less sure how to take his well-wisher's comments about the test.

"He said all the best, but I don't know if he meant it or not," he laughed. "Look, you respect what they do I must say and they did a pretty good job when they were over in Christchurch from what I heard."

The good will meeting was about the only thing that pulled the gathered press cameras away from Sonny Bill Williams, who seemed to have a magnetic pull on every Australian photographer present.

It was impossible to miss the irony of Williams' return to Sydney where he will play his first test on Australian soil since walking out on the Bulldogs in 2008.

The venue was decked out in Bulldogs colours with the block letters BULLDOGS sprawled across the massive main stand.

It's impossible to talk to anyone in Sydney about tomorrow night's test without Williams name popping up, but the blue and white decorations were not a dig at the All Blacks' second five-eighth.

The Bulldogs will play an NRL match against the Wests Tigers at ANZ Stadium tonight.

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- Fairfax Media

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