14 Jun 2014

Captain McCaw demands improvement in Dunedin

9:02 am on 14 June 2014

New Zealand captain Richie McCaw insists the All Blacks will need to raise their game by a few notches in tonight's second Test against a fast-improving England to maintain the upper hand in what McCaw's calling a "hell of a tough" three-match series.

The hosts fell well short of their own high standards in a last-gasp 20-15 win in Auckland last week, a scrappy performance against an under-strength England side which All Blacks coach Steve Hansen described as the worst during his tenure.

McCaw says they expected a tough contest but didn't help themselves last week, and they know what England are going to bring, so the All Blacks need to be better.

The 33-year-old flanker says he expects the tourists are going to be better too with their reinforcements returning, and having had a run together too.

The All Blacks, largely unchanged from the side that looked underprepared in the series opener, will lock horns with an England side bolstered by five fresh starters and McCaw expects the visitors to show further improvement.

In the rival camp, coach Stuart Lancaster has warned his players to be wary of an All Blacks backlash, and they'll need to be 20 percent better, because that's what the All Blacks will be.