McCaw unlikely to face Chiefs
Sydney - Richie McCaw ran with his Crusaders team-mates at training on Monday but
there is no chance of him joining them for their crucial match against
the Chiefs at AMI Stadium on Friday.
According to the stuff.co.nz website, last week Crusaders head coach Todd Blackadder said McCaw may
finally start playing next weekend - either for his Christchurch club or
for the Crusaders final Super Rugby match against the Hurricanes.
Assistant coach Tabai Matson, when asked if the Chiefs match was too
early for All Blacks captain McCaw to make his comeback from his
six-month sabbatical, intimated an early return was unlikely.
''I think so. He just joined us to do his own fitness but it's always more fun when you are with mates,'' Matson said today.
Last week McCaw trained independently from the squad.
Matson reiterated the flank will be given space to make his own decision in regards to his return.
''It's really up to him. Whether it be a club game, or the
high-pressure of a Super Rugby match, really is something to be
discussed over the coming days.''
The Crusaders are expected to name their strongest lineup for their penultimate match.
A win will secure a place in the playoffs.
The Chiefs need just one more competition point to win the New Zealand conference.
Matson was also grateful to have a fit backline despite Ma'a Nonu
launching a late tackle on Dan Carter and tipping Tom Marshall in a
spear tackle that earned him a red card.
Nonu also got an off-field yellow card for his late hit on Carter.
''I can't comment about someone else's mental state and probably in
one incident he clearly had a brain fart and he's paid the
consequences,'' Matson said.
''What he did to 'Tojo' [Marshall] - you can get seriously injured doing that and that's why they have a zero tolerance.''
Nonu has received a three-week suspension. His season with the Highlanders is over.