Richie McCaw has revealed that he was in constant pain during the World Cup last year.
The All Blacks skipper carried a serious foot injury into the global showpiece which his team won at home last year, and in his autobiography: The open side, he revealed that he had to hide the seriousness of the injury during the tournament.
"I've got to be careful to mask the worst effects of the injury not just from the media but also from all the people constantly coming and going from the hotel. Not to mention the team and the coaches," wrote McCaw.
The legendary flank revealed that he was reluctant to go for an x-ray that would have confirmed the severity of the injury, and instead pushed through the pain.
"If we know for sure it's broken, then it's going to be much more difficult for [McCaw and team doctor Deb Robinson] and everyone around us to keep me on the field. Because whatever the ramifications, I'm going to keep playing on it as long as I can stand up and do my job."