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New Zealand Rugby - Crusaders
No guarantees for Richie McCaw
May 31, 2013
New Zealand's Richie McCaw hits the weights ahead of his side's clash with Wales, Cardiff University Sport and Exercise Centre, Cardiff, Wales, November 19, 2012
Richie McCaw is 'huffing and puffing in doing his work in the gym' © Getty Images
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All Blacks captain Richie McCaw is not guaranteed to play for the Crusaders if the New Zealand powerhouse makes the Super Rugby finals, head coach Todd Blackadder says.

Blackadder said on Thursday that he had met McCaw, and the player was training, but a return to the Crusaders had not been part of their conversations. "All the chats I've had with him have been really jovial, just friendly chit-chats," Blackadder said. "We haven't really talked about his return. When he's ready he will tell us.

Blackadder said that McCaw had put on a bit of condition during his six-month sabbatical.

"He's huffing and puffing in doing his work in the gym. I think he's had a true sabbatical and taken time away from the game, and now he's spending the next month getting fit and going through the hard work stage. There's no way he's ready to play rugby at the moment or even in the next three to four weeks. We'll just wait and see like everyone else and when he's ready he will tell us and then we will make sure we have a plan to reintroduce him if he wants but there's no expectations from us."

Blackadder said that McCaw would play rugby in July, but most likely at club and ITM Cup level rather than on the Super Rugby stage. "It's his choice."

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