McCaw back for Crusaders
Richie McCaw will make his much awaited return for the Crusaders against the Reds in Saturday’s Super Rugby play-off in Christchurch.
Crusaders Head Coach Todd Blackadder on Wednesday named McCaw on the bench for what will be his first Super Rugby match for the 2013 season following an 80-minute club rugby game last weekend.
Blackadder made only one change to the starting XV that beat the Hurricanes 25-17 last weekend, with Luke Romano returning from an ankle injury to reform his locking partnership with All Black teammate Sam Whitelock.
The match will also mark a special occasion for flank Matt Todd as he will be playing his 50th Super Rugby match for the Crusaders.
Blackadder said the team will no doubt feed of the energy and support of the home fans.
"This season we remain unbeaten at home and this is largely due to the enthusiastic and boisterous red and black support we receive every time we play at AMI Stadium.
“With this weekend's game being the last time the Crusaders will play at home during 2013 we encourage fans to don the red and black once more and help us to show the Reds what it is like to play knock out footy at our fortress," said Blackadder.
Crusaders: 15 Israel Dagg, 14 Tom Marshall, 13 Ryan Crotty, 12 Tom Taylor, 11 Zac Guildford, 10 Dan Carter, 9 Andy Ellis, 8 Kieran Read (captain), 7 Matt Todd, 6 George Whitelock, 5 Sam Whitelock, 4 Luke Romano, 3 Owen Franks, 2 Corey Flynn, 1 Wyatt Crockett.
Replacements: 16 Ben Funnell, 17 Joe Moody, 18 Luke Whitelock, 19 Richie McCaw, 20 Willi Heinz, 21 Tyler Bleyendaal, 22 Adam Whitelock.
Date: Saturday, July 20
Venue: AMI Stadium, Christchurch
Kick-off: 19:35 local, 17:35 NSW/ACT, 09:35 SAT, 07:35 GMT
Referee: Jaco Peyper (South Africa)
Assistant referees: Garratt Williamson (New Zealand), Mike Fraser (New Zealand)
TMO: Vinny Munro (New Zealand)