McCaw: players must accept public glare

New Zealand captain Richie McCaw believes high-profile modern rugby players live in a “fishbowl” and must adjust their behaviour accordingly.

His comments come in the wake of a police investigation into an alleged incident involving four England players, which took place in a private room at the team’s hotel in Auckland after Saturday’s first Test defeat to the All Blacks at Eden Park.

While no formal complaint has been made, the players are co-operating with Auckland Police and have the full backing of the England management team.

McCaw admitted that while he had never been involved in an incident such as this, it is a fact of life as a prominent sportsman that you came under close scrutiny.

“The reality is that when you are an All Black there are people watching no matter whether you are on time off or whatever and you have got to be aware (of that)” he said.

“That’s just a simple fact. We always see that there are times when people perhaps let their guard down.

“It’s just something that you accept that people will watch what you do.

“It’s a small part of it (being an All Black) and as long as the enjoyment you get from playing far outweighs living in a fishbowl type of situation, it’s only a small part of the downside of it.

“For me, the upside of playing far outweighs it and you just accept it.”

McCaw believes there is more focus on players’ actions off the field than there has been in previous eras.

“The All Blacks have always had that sort of scrutiny,” McCaw said.

“Perhaps in terms of what happens off the field, perhaps there is a little bit more but you look at any sports team around the world and that is just the way it is, and you’ve just got to accept that.”