London – New Zealand captain Richie McCaw says his players will be fighting fit to face England on Saturday, despite a virus having struck the All Blacks squad.

Several players were laid low by vomiting and diarrhoea prior to last weekend's 33-10 win over Wales and the virus had spread to 30 members of the 32-man squad by the middle of this week.

However, those who fell ill are now on the road to recovery and McCaw says it will not put them off their stride at Twickenham.

“The guys are coming right now. By yesterday (Thursday) most of us were feeling pretty good, bar a couple,” he said on Friday.

“I had a bit of it myself but I feel pretty good today. It knocked the stuffing out of a few of the guys.

“For a day or so the boys didn't have a lot to eat and were a little ginger yesterday.

“From what I've seen and from myself, we're eating normally and energy levels are back up. Hopefully it won't take too much out of us.

“I know running round yesterday wasn't too bad considering and I feel a heap better today. It shouldn't affect us at all tomorrow.” – AFP