All Blacks lose McCaw, Jane
- 18 Oct 2013
Richie McCaw and Cory Jane have been ruled out of the final Bledisloe Cup match in Dunedin this Saturday.
Coach Steve Hansen said that while McCaw's injury, a calf strain, wasn't too serious, they didn't want risk him.
'We could have played him, but the risk and reward wasn't worth it,' he said.
Jane tweaked a hamstring during training and was initially thought to be OK, but he didn't feel well the following morning.
'CJ has done a grade-one hamstring in training. We thought he may be OK in the morning but he pulled up no better.'
Jane was set to return to the All Blacks' starting XV, after rupturing ligaments in his knee earlier in the year, which kept him on the sidelines for 10 months.
McCaw and Jane will be replaced by Sam Cane and utility back Charles Piutau respectively, with Kieran Read taking over the captaincy.
Even with the double injury, the world champions remain favourites going into the match, as they look to extend their unbeaten run this year.
Wallabies captain James Horwill believes the loss of McCaw will have little impact on the All Blacks.
'Obviously the experience of Richie is a loss for any team. [He's played] 120 Tests [and] it's hard to replicate that experience, but Sam Cane's been doing a great job.'
The Wallabies last beat the All Blacks 25-20 in Brisbane two years ago, but Hansen says they are not underestimating them.
'We respect the Australians immensely,' he said.
All Blacks (revised) – 15 Israel Dagg, 14 Charles Piutau, 13 Ben Smith, 12 Ma'a Nonu, 11 Julian Savea, 10 Aaron Cruden, 9 Aaron Smith, 8 Kieran Read (c), 7 Sam Cane, 6 Liam Messam, 5 Samuel Whitelock, 4 Jeremy Thrush, 3 Charlie Faumuina, 2 Keven Mealamu, 1 Tony Woodcock.
Subs: 16 Dane Coles, 17 Wyatt Crockett, 18 Ben Franks, 19 Brodie Retallick, 20 Steven Luatua, 21 Tawera Kerr-Barlow, 22 Beauden Barrett, 23 Tom Taylor.
Photo: William West/Getty Images
Spies back for battle
Pierre Spies has re-entered a rugby landscape vastly different to the one he left, writes RYAN VREDE.
Time for dose of reality
The performance of South Africa's sporting teams should always be put into perspective, writes MARK KEOHANE in Business Day.
The 20 best Boks since 1995
To mark its 20th anniversary, SA Rugby magazine has picked the best 20 Springboks from the past 20 years.