The All Blacks most experienced man faces a Test in versatility in the third and final Test against Ireland in Hamilton tomorrow night.
In a team that has six changes from the All Blacks side which narrowly defied history last weekend, captain McCaw will start his 100th Test but his first at number eight.
While many punters may think McCaw merely will have a different number on his back, one of the All Blacks greatest eights, former captain Buck Shelford, warns the roles are markedly different.
"A lot of coaches think it's really straightforward. It's a different position. You're a guy who's got to control the ball...Deliver the ball to the halfback. Your body position is different to a flanker. It's not as though you're trying to get up and just get away from a scrum," Shelford told ONE News.
McCaw enters the Test as a messiah among inexperience in the loose. The 106-Test veteran will have one-Test wonder Sam Cane ahead of him to the breakdown in the number seven jersey while trailing behind in the number six will be Liam Messam, who has yet to fully convince.
McCaw's experience can only be matched by his opposite, Brian O'Driscoll. The two legends of the game are the only survivors from the sides that started at Waikato Stadium six years ago, where the All Blacks rallied to a familiar 34-23 win.
The start of the Test remains key to the All Blacks ambitions of a clean sweep and avoiding an unwanted slice of history.
"Certainly how tight it got at the weekend certainly put everyone's feet on the ground. It's not just Steve (Hansen) it's all the guys who've been here before realise what it's going to take and you know there's been a bit of edge everywhere really," McCaw said today at the captains' runs.
For the Irish, their task is simple. They need to again put pressure on at scrum time and prevent the All Blacks from getting quick ball, which is no mean feat but possible, as was proven in Christchurch.
"With short preparation times, you've just got to make sure you get your basics right and the other night we were just better on our basics to tell you the truth," Ireland defence coach Les Kiss said.
The weather may help Ireland's cause. Dark clouds are promised tomorrow night and if the rain comes the All Blacks once again could be in for one hell of a ride.