McCaw to sit out Crusaders' opener
February 10, 2014
Blackadder will slowly ease McCaw back into the season, sitting him out of the Crusaders' opening match © Getty Images
Crusaders coach Todd Blackadder confirmed on Monday that Crusaders captain and standout Test No.8 Read will miss the game on February 21, as has always been the plan. However, Test great and New Zealand captain McCaw could also be eased slowly into the season, with Blackadder considering playing Matt Todd on the openside flank against the defending champions.
McCaw, 33, returns to the field in the Crusaders' final pre-season match against the Hurricanes in Levin on Friday. However, Blackadder says early-season form will dictate his selection. Todd, has already impressed in the team's opening trials and practices.
"It's not just about getting guys back and integrating them and letting them get slowly up to speed," Blackadder said. "It's about who's ready to go at the start and that may mean that Matt Todd is more physically ready to go and up to speed in his skill executions than Richie McCaw. That's not to say Richie is not a great player but horses for courses."
Todd, 25, made his All Blacks debut last year with Test appearances off the reserve bench before a chest muscle injury in September ended his season. Even if Todd gets the nod for the No.7 jersey against the Chiefs, McCaw could still be considered at No.8 in place of Read, voted world and New Zealand Player of the Year in 2013.
Other loose forward options include the Whitelock brothers, George and Luke, who have both played one Test. Blackadder says Read will be available for the Crusaders' round two game against the Blues in Auckland.
"That's a far better plan than the original one where he wasn't going to be available for the first three weeks."
Communication error please reload the page.
Stoke attacker Bojan Krkic is set to miss the rest of the season after suffering a serious cruciate knee injury in Monday's 4-1 FA Cup win at Rochdale, according to reports
Royal Troon Golf Club, which is set to host the 2016 Open Championship, says it will review its male-only membership policy
Sauber will unveil the C34 with an online launch on January 30, two days day before 2015 testing begins in Jerez
Red Bull boss Christian Horner says the team the team has not finished building its 2015 car but insists it will be ready in time for the start of testing on Sunday
Owen Farrell has been ruled out of the entire Six Nations after England confirmed the fly-half has contracted a "high-grade medial ligament strain"