McCaw is hungry for more

Tue, 23 Jul 2013 10:42
Large richie mccaw crusaders Large richiemccawcrusaderstraining

Richie McCaw's sabbatical has made him hungrier than ever to make the most of the end of his career, starting against the Chiefs on Saturday.

Richie McCaw's rugby sabbatical has made him hungrier than ever to make the most of the end of his career, starting against the Chiefs on Saturday.

The All Blacks captain took a break from rugby for the first half of this year in order to prolong his career at the top and returned to the fray when he came off the bench in the Crusaders' Super Rugby play-off victory over the Reds in Christchurch.

The decorated openside flank admitted that after spending six months on the sidelines he is looking forward to getting back out there again.

He told Fairfax NZ News: "I was pretty nervous today turning up, and there was just an excitement about getting out on the field. That's the way rugby should be.

"I don't think it had disappeared, but certainly today reminded me why I do it and when you see the boys running round like that ... you don't get to play this game forever, and you want to make the most of every time you get out there.

"That becomes pretty evident when you sit and watch for a while," he explained.

However, he may have to wait a while longer before he starts a match as Crusaders coach Todd Blackadder intends to play him off the bench once again in the Crusaders' Super Rugby semifinal against the Chiefs in Hamilton this weekend.

Blackadder explained that he does not want to rush McCaw back into the starting line-up, especially with Matt Todd showing such good form at openside flank for the Crusaders lately.

"That was never part of our thinking to start with. I say that because he's only just getting his game-time and minutes up and it would be a huge step to go into a game like this.

"Richie's an outstanding player but it just wouldn't be right. That's no disrespect to anyone but it is just the right thing to do," he said.

McCaw himself admitted that following the Crusaders' demolition of the Reds last week, breaking into the team is quite a tough ask.

"It might be a bit tough, mightn't it. To be honest I'm just happy to be given a shot to have a run round. I'll hope for the best next week, but the boys are going good," he said.

He added that after falling short in the knock-out stages of the competition for the last few years, the Crusaders are desperate to go all the way and make it an eighth title this year.

"A lot of the boys have been in this situation the last couple of years and come up short and it would be pretty disappointing to get this far again and not put our best performance out there.

"There will be four teams now all thinking that same thing, and it comes down to the guys who can put it out there. We've got to be hungry and if we can prepare like we did this week and put a performance out there it's going take a good team to match that," he said.

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FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Fri, 28 April 2017
Highlanders v Stormers 07h35 Dunedin
Cardiff Blues v Zebre 18h05 Cardiff
Edinburgh v Dragons 18h35 Myreside
Leinster v Glasgow Warriors 18h35 RDS Arena
Newcastle Falcons v Worcester Warriors 19h00 Kingston Park
Sat, 29 April 2017
Chiefs v Sunwolves 07h35 Hamilton
Reds v Waratahs 09h45 Suncorp Stadium
Force v Lions 11h55 Perth
Ospreys v Ulster 14h00 Liberty Stadium
Bath v Gloucester 14h00 Recreation Ground
Exeter Chiefs v Northampton Saints 14h00 Sandy Park
Saracens v Bristol 14h00 Allianz Park
Harlequins v Wasps 14h00 Twickenham Stoop
Leicester Tigers v Sale Sharks 14h00 Welford Road
Cheetahs v Crusaders 15h15 Bloemfontein
Treviso v Munster 17h05 Stadio Monigo
Kings v Rebels 17h30 Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium
Connacht v Scarlets 18h35 Sportsground
Jaguares v Sharks 19h40 Buenos Aires
Sun, 30 April 2017
Brumbies v Blues 06h05 Canberra
RESULT SCORE
Sun, 23 April 2017
Clermont Auvergne v Leinster 27 | 22
Sat, 22 April 2017
Sharks v Rebels 9 | 9
Bulls v Cheetahs 20 | 14
Munster v Saracens 10 | 26
Force v Chiefs 7 | 16
Crusaders v Stormers 57 | 24
Highlanders v Sunwolves 40 | 15
Fri, 21 April 2017
Lions v Jaguares 24 | 21
Waratahs v Kings 24 | 26
Hurricanes v Brumbies 56 | 21
Mon, 17 April 2017
UP-Tuks v Maties 28 | 21
Sun, 16 April 2017
Northampton Saints v Saracens 25 | 27
Bristol v Wasps 21 | 36
Sat, 15 April 2017
Connacht v Leinster 24 | 37
Treviso v Edinburgh 21 | 6
SUPER RUGBY
MORE LOGS
Pool AU
Team P W D L Pts
Brumbies 8 3 0 5 17
Reds 8 2 0 6 10
Force 7 2 0 5 9
Waratahs 8 2 0 6 9
Rebels 7 1 1 5 7
Pool NZ
Team P W D L Pts
Crusaders 8 8 0 0 36
Hurricanes 8 7 0 1 33
Chiefs 8 7 0 1 33
Highlanders 8 5 0 3 23
Blues 8 3 0 5 17
Pool SA1
Team P W D L Pts
Stormers 8 6 0 2 26
Bulls 8 3 0 5 14
Cheetahs 8 2 0 6 10
Sunwolves 8 1 0 7 5
Pool SA2
Team P W D L Pts
Lions 8 7 0 1 32
Sharks 8 5 1 2 24
Jaguares 8 4 0 4 20
Kings 8 2 0 6 10