Captain Richie McCaw decides to take a break

Captain targets 2015 World Cup

LIAM NAPIER
Last updated 05:00 23/09/2012
richie mccaw
MCAWESOME: Even the best need a rest.

Related Links

McCaw one of seven wonders of rugby world Action man McCaw a level above everyone else Richie McCaw rediscovers his mojo Boks prop banned for cheap shot on McCaw

Relevant offers

All Blacks

Sonny Bill Williams playing his best rugby, All Blacks coach Steve Hansen says Hard for Cory Jane to make All Blacks World Cup squad, coach Steve Hansen admits Patrick Osborne, Tawera Kerr-Barlow called into All Blacks squad for Bledisloe Cup tests Ma'a Nonu cleared of serious damage but may miss first Bledisloe Cup test All Blacks captain Richie McCaw entitled to say farewell on his own terms Rotation in vogue for southern hemisphere powers ahead of Rugby World Cup Bledisloe Cup beauts – five of the best from rugby's trans-Tasman rivalry Cully: Wallabies need to find another level to live with the All Blacks in Sydney Reason: TMO blight on the game and biggest threat to World Cup Cory Jane book extract: Going Sevens, Going Super

All Blacks captain Richie McCaw is to take six months off rugby.

He will lead the All Blacks on this year's end-of-year tour to Europe, but will then trigger a sabbatical option in his New Zealand Rugby Union contract.

The 31-year-old will sit out the three tests against France in June, and will not play for the Crusaders until July, in a bid to preserve his body through to the 2015 Rugby World Cup.

A frequent target for opposition cheap shots, McCaw will be the second All Black to take a sabbatical, after Dan Carter's ill-fated $1 million 2008 stint with French club Perpignan, where he snapped his Achilles tendon. Carter can also take another six-month sabbatical before the cup.

“It is definitely going to happen,” Crusaders coach Todd Blackadder told the Sunday Star-Times last night. “Richie is going to take a sabbatical. He will probably be available after June. He won't be available for the tests or Super Rugby, so he's going to get a good break. We've worked this through with all parties and I fully support it.

“He had it written into his contract and he's elected to take it. He's going to see the season out with the All Blacks, then have a break. It will freshen him up and he'll come back and be good for the next couple of years.”

Unlike Carter's venture to France, McCaw's six months off is purely to give his body a chance to recover, to ensure he has the chance to see out his four-year contract.

New Zealand's top players are being asked to play up to 33 games this year, taking a huge toll. “He's probably going to head overseas and have a bit of a holiday, have a break and get away from the game,” Blackadder said.

The sabbaticals being offered to selected All Blacks are the union's way of keeping top players in the country, because it cannot match what players can make overseas.

All Blacks coach Steve Hansen also gave his blessing to McCaw. “Richie is smart enough to know what his body needs,” he said as the All Blacks left for Argentina yesterday.

“He's got a sabbatical in his contract, so it's up to him use it. If we want to get him through to the world cup, it's a good idea. The Super 15 is a tough competition. For someone like Richie to step out of that, he obviously thinks it's pertinent, hence why it's in his contract.”

Ad Feedback

All Blacks No 8 Kieran Read will take over the Crusaders captaincy. “It's a huge commitment to do both these days," Blackaddder said. "Super Rugby is now an eight-month programme. It's a lot bigger than it used to be. The succession plan is Reado. He did a fantastic job this year.”

- Sunday Star Times

Comments

Special offers
Opinion poll

Who was the best-performed All Blacks forward on the northern tour?

Dane Coles

Nathan Harris

Keven Mealamu

Wyatt Crockett

Charlie Faumuina

Ben Franks

Owen Franks

Joe Moody

Brodie Retallick

Luke Romano

Jeremy Thrush

Patrick Tuipulotu

Sam Whitelock

Sam Cane

Jerome Kaino

Richie McCaw

Liam Messam

Kieran Read

Vitor Vito

Vote Result

Featured Promotions

Sponsored Content