Richie McCaw makes his return for Crusaders
February 12, 2014
Richie McCaw will take the field for the first time this season against the Hurricanes © Getty Images
All Blacks captain Richie McCaw will hit the rugby field for the first time this year, named on the Crusaders bench for a Super Rugby warm-up against the Hurricanes on Friday in Levin.
Crusaders coach Todd Blackadder has named a 26-man team, which will again be captained by centre Ryan Crotty. Three players will take the field for the first time this season - Luke Whitelock at No.8, Johnny McNicholl on the wing and 33-year-old McCaw from the reserves.
Fellow All Black Matt Todd will start at No.7. Blackadder says No.8 Kieran Read will be available for the Crusaders' round two game against the Blues in Auckland.
Crusaders: Israel Dagg, Johnny McNicholl, Ryan Crotty (c), Tom Taylor, Nafi Tuitavake, Colin Slade, Willi Heinz, Luke Whitelock, Matt Todd, George Whitelock, Dominic Bird, Luke Romano, Owen Franks, Ben Funnell, Wyatt Crocket. Reserves: Corey Flynn, Tim Perry, Nepo Laulala, Sam Whitelock, Richie McCaw, Andy Ellis, Tyler Bleyendaal, Rob Thompson, Zac Guildford, Reynold Lee-Lo, Jordan Taufua.
"Like the Treaty of Versailles, despite all the promises, the new Participation Agreement is certainly not the final solution." John Taylor writes
"We know where we are going and we know where we want to get but how long that will take is anybody's guess." David Humphreys on his plans for Gloucester
Jim Mallinder and Justin Burnell were sat on the same top table, but in different circumstances. Tom Hamilton reports on the Aviva Premiership season launch
Tom Hamilton reports back from the launch of the Guinness PRO12 where there is a renewed sense of optimism with all of the off-field changes to the league