Why are you reading this? I’m the new leader of the New Zealand Rugby Union.
By the time he’s done, he’ll be just one of several players to have been promoted from junior to senior, a process he’ll have had to undertake with his head bowed and a smile on his face.
“I’m a new guy and I think it’s been the toughest four or five years for the sport, but I have faith that when I get here, I’m going to be able to bring something positive to the team,” he said.
“When you have people who have been in the game for so long, it’s a privilege to have a group of players that have that experience.”
The new leader’s experience of being on the wrong end of a decision will be an invaluable asset for the next four years, he said, but he knows there’s still plenty of time to turn things around.
New Zealand Rugby’s leadership team was established after a bitter and bitter season of controversy when former head coach Matt O’Connor was ousted amid allegations of bullying and abuse, including threats of violence.
The New Zealand team, which lost its first two Tests, has been in limbo since, having missed out on a third series in 2018, a year after winning the Six Nations and a World Cup.
A number of players have been put on leave after O’Connors departure, including centre Owen Franks, who will miss the 2018 World Cup after being suspended for the final two Tests.
Former Kiwis and current Wallabies lock Sam Warburton is also currently on leave.
“There’s a lot of players on the squad that are not at full strength,” said McCafferty.
“The team is pretty thin, so I don’t think there’s going to have much room for any of them to really make their mark.”
So the opportunity to come in and have a leadership role will be invaluable for the team.
“McCafferty said the opportunity was the right one, with his predecessor in charge having the right experience and a plan.
He said the squad would look different in the lead-up to the 2019 Rugby World Cup, and the focus would be on bringing in new talent.”
We want to have the best possible squad for the World Cup and the Rugby World Cups coming down the track, but we want to keep the same group,” he explained.”
There are plenty of options for our squad.
We can’t lose any players who have made the biggest impact for us this season.
“It will be interesting to see what’s coming up in the next two months.”
McClafferty has also appointed assistant coaches Robson Hanegbi and Ryan Murphy, as well as head coach of rugby, Gareth Thomas, and assistant captain and assistant coach of Rugby Australia Scott Robertson, as members of his coaching staff.
“Gareth Thomas has been very instrumental in the development of our squad this year,” McCafferity said.
This includes developing the squad’s depth and development of the backline.
“He is in a great position to lead the squad as well, and that’s going a long way in getting the best out of our players.”
He said McCaffery was also keen to continue to recruit new players and recruit quality, which has been a huge factor in his recruitment.
After a disappointing season in 2017, the Wallabies’ squad, under McCafferties guidance, will look a little different.
“What’s been exciting about the year has been the way that we’ve played,” he added.
“Our backs have come through the door and we’re looking forward to seeing the team come through.”