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Saders won’t start McCaw

  • 22 Jul 2013

The Crusaders won't rush Richie McCaw into their run-on side for Saturday's semi-final against the Chiefs in Hamilton.

McCaw came off the bench during the Crusaders' 38-9 play-off win over the Reds in Christchurch last weekend for his first Super Rugby appearance of the year. The All Blacks captain, who has played 116 Tests, had 14 minutes on the park after an eight-month sabbatical break from the game.

Crusaders coach Todd Blackadder stressed that he'll keep the 32-year-old veteran on the bench.

'Starting McCaw was never part of our thinking,' said Blackadder. 'I say that because he's only just getting his game-time and minutes up and it would be a huge step to go into a game like this. Richie's an outstanding player but it just wouldn't be right. That's no disrespect to anyone but it is just the right thing to do.'

This means the Crusaders will start the loose trio of Matt Todd, George Whitelock and Kieran Read.

'Those guys have played outstandingly well and by doing that we are putting the team first,' said Blackadder. 'And if you were to ask Richie, he would say exactly the same.'

Photo: Luigi Bennet/BackpagePix

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