McCaw returns against Sharks

    2014-07-24 07:27

    Wellington - Crusaders flank Richie McCaw has recovered from injury and will start this weekend's Super Rugby semi-final against the Sharks in Christchurch.

    The All Blacks captain missed the end of the regular season after breaking a rib playing against England in June and returns to reinforce the seven-times champions as they bid to reach an 11th final.

    With Matt Todd in such fine form in McCaw's usual position of openside flank, the 33-year-old will play on the other side of the scrum in the number six shirt with Jordan Taufua moving to the bench.

    All Blacks flyhalf Dan Carter also starts in an unfamiliar position, again lining up at inside centre outside Colin Slade as he continues his return from a six-month sabbatical.

    McCaw's return is one of two changes to the team that beat the Otago Highlanders in the last outing of the regular season with the other coming in the front row where Corey Flynn gets the start at hooker in his 150th game for the Crusaders.

    The Crusaders will be looking to avenge their 30-25 home defeat to the Sharks earlier in the season and coach Todd Blackadder is expecting a stiff challenge from Jake White's team.

    "The Sharks have shown this season that they are an extremely classy outfit and a very difficult team to beat," he said in a media release.

    "This is our biggest challenge yet, but we feel ready for it."

    The winners of the match will play the Waratahs or Brumbies, who face off in Saturday's second semi-final in Sydney.


    Crusaders: 15 Israel Dagg, 14 Kieron Fonotia, 13 Ryan Crotty, 12 Dan Carter, 11 Nemani Nadolo, 10 Colin Slade, 9 Andy Ellis, 8 Kieran Read (captain), 7 Matt Todd, 6 Richie McCaw, 5 Sam Whitelock, 4 Dominic Bird, 3 Owen Franks, 2 Corey Flynn, 1 Wyatt Crockett.

    Substitutes: 16 Ben Funnell, 17 Joe Moody, 18 Nepo Laulala, 19 Jimmy Tupou, 20 Jordan Taufua, 21 Willi Heinz, 22 Tom Taylor, 23 Johnny McNicholl.

    Sharks: TBA

    What To Read Next

    Read News24’s Comments Policy publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

    Comment on this story
    Comments have been closed for this article.
    Live Video Streaming
    Video Highlights
    Sport Talk


    No results are available


    Rank Team P W Pts

    Opinion Poll

    Which South African franchise stands the best chance of winning this year's Super Rugby title?

    The ultimate Super Rugby quiz!

    There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.