Crusaders rest McCaw and Carter
November 2, 2011
An injured Dan Carter watches on © Getty Images
Super Rugby side the Crusaders have confirmed stars Richie McCaw and Dan Carter will miss the start of the 2012 season after the pair endured injury problems during their successful World Cup tilt.
Carter suffered a serious groin injury during the tournament and is not expected back until early March. The Crusaders refused to put a time frame on McCaw's lay-off, with the New Zealand skipper currently resting a right foot injury which he played through en route to lifting the Webb Ellis Cup.
Crusaders coach Todd Blackadder, though, believes the team still possesses enough experience despite the loss of his two biggest stars.
"Kieran Read stepped up and led the team incredibly well and he tells me he is pretty fit and looking forward to next season but he definitely needs a good break," Blackadder said.
"We've also got George Whitelock who is quite an experienced captain now after leading Canterbury during the ITM Cup and we've got other great leaders in Wyatt Crockett and Andy Ellis as well."
Blackadder allayed fears McCaw could miss the entire Super Rugby season if his foot requires another operation.
"[McCaw] will definitely play Super Rugby. He sees a specialist on Thursday so a decision will be made after that. What will be key for us is that he takes whatever time he needs to get that foot right because I know it has been a very frustrating season for him.
''It says a lot about him that he played the World Cup finals. When I talked to him about his foot during the cup, especially the later stages, he really shouldn't have played at all.
"It was probably lucky that they didn't x-ray him as it probably would have confirmed that he shouldn't have been out there. But you are talking about resilience and someone tough and driven and I thought he did a fantastic job," said Blackadder.
Meanwhile, all four Whitelock brothers were named in the Crusaders' squad for the first time. George, Sam, Luke and Adam were included in a squad which includes 10 All Blacks.
2012 Crusaders Squad:
Richie McCaw, Nick Barrett, Tyler Bleyendaal, Dan Carter, Wyatt Crockett, Ryan Crotty, Israel Dagg, Tom Donnelly, Andrew Ellis, Corey Flynn, Ben Franks, Owen Franks, Robbie Fruean, Ben Funnell, Zac Guildford, Willi Heinz, Ross Kennedy, Quentin MacDonald, Sean Maitland, Tom Marshall, Patrick Osborne, Kieran Read, Luke Romano, Tom Taylor, Matt Todd, Joe Wheeler, Adam Whitelock, George Whitelock, Luke Whitelock and Sam Whitelock
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