Richie McCaw says playing with a fractured rib against England last month was more painful than with a broken foot bone in the 2011 World Cup.
McCaw fractured a rib in the second Test against England in Dunedin on 14 June and played through the discomfort, thinking it was just a bruising. He featured in the third and final Test in Hamilton a week later, but realised during that match that there was a serious problem.
'By the end of that third Test I was pretty sore,' McCaw told Fairfax Media. 'With an injured foot it doesn't hurt when you go into contact – it is only when you are running.
'With the foot it didn't even enter my mind, to be honest, towards the end of that World Cup. But with the ribs I knew towards the end of the game it was going to cause me a couple of weeks being laid-up. I paid for it afterwards. I was pretty sore.'
McCaw had to battle through the pain barrier. He struggled to inhale, said sleeping after the third Test was very difficult and didn't bandage his ribs during those last two Tests.
'I put a pad on and that was about it,' he added. 'They probably got a bit worse during that [third] game but they were pretty sore.'
McCaw starts on the blindside flank for the Crusaders in Saturday's semi-final against the Sharks in Christchurch – the first game since suffering the rib injury.
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