Richie McCaw to play for Crusaders vs Canes

Last updated 15:57 12/02/2014
Richie McCaw
Getty Images
RETURNING: Richie McCaw has not played a game since the All Blacks' last-gasp win over Ireland last November.

Relevant offers

Super Rugby

Pumas back rower Juan Manuel Leguizamon signs with Argentina Super Rugby side Auckland coach Paul Feeney joins Tana Umaga's Blues setup as an assistant Hurricanes Super Rugby franchise seeking major sponsor Wellington's Vaea Fifita signs three-year Super Rugby deal with Hurricanes Crusaders search for new general manager Super Rugby crisis looms as Japan struggles with expansion franchise Chiefs sign New Zealand Under-20s captain Atu Moli on two-year deal Chiefs still have five holes to fill in their 2016 squad Ex-Wallabies coach Eddie Jones in talks with Super Rugby side the Stormers Tana Umaga's coaching group falling into place at the Blues

All Blacks captain Richie McCaw will make his first appearance for the Crusaders this season, off the bench in the final pre-season game against the Hurricanes.

Coach Todd Blackadder will field an all-All Black back row in Levin on Friday with Matt Todd at openside flanker, George Whitelock on the blindside and Luke Whitelock at the back.

The Crusaders will start 11 past or present All Blacks with another five, including McCaw and senior All Black lock Sam Whitelock, on an 11-strong substitutes' bench.

Luke Whitelock and wing Johnny McNicholl will make their 2014 season debuts after sitting out last week's win over the Highlanders in Motueka.

The Crusaders have two other All Black locks with Luke Romano joining Dominic Bird in the starting second row. All Black props Wyatt Crockett and Owen Franks will also start.

Israel Dagg is over an injury scare and will start at fullback, leaving Colin Slade to fill his favoured first five-eighth berth with Tom Taylor at second five-eighth.

Willi Heinz gets the nod at halfback after ex-All Black Andy Ellis started last week.

All Blacks midfielder Ryan Crotty will continue as captain in Kieran Read's absence.

Crusaders team: 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 Crockett: Reserves: Corey Flynn, Tim Perry, Nepo Laulala, Sam Whitelock, Richie McCaw, Jordan Taufua, Andy Ellis, Tyler Bleyendaal, Rob Thompson, Zac Guildford, Reynold Lee-Lo.

Ad Feedback

- Fairfax Media

Special offers
Opinion poll

Which 2015 NZ Super Rugby team looks best?

Blues

Chiefs

Crusaders

Highlanders

Hurricanes

Vote Result

Featured Promotions

Sponsored Content