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Read back, but McCaw a concern

Mon, 24 Feb 2014 08:51
Large richie mccaw media

There was a mixed bag on the selection front for the Crusaders on Monday - Kieran Read set to return, but Richie McCaw likely to be ruled out.

There was a mixed bag on the selection front for the Crusaders on Monday - Kieran Read set to return, but Richie McCaw likely to be ruled out.

McCaw is in doubt for Friday's Round Three encounter against the Blues at Eden Park.

The openside flank is nursing a tender calf, after the Crusaders' 10-18-10 loss to the Chiefs at Christchurch Stadium at the weekend.

According to reports in the New Zealand media Matt Todd is set to take over in the No.7 jersey. Todd has always proved a capable performer at openside whenever McCaw has been unavailable in recent years.

McCaw didn't participate in the warm-up exercises during training at Rugby Park on Monday and Crusaders coach Todd Blackadder said he will be "cautious" about pushing the 33-year-old McCaw back too soon.

Midfielder Ryan Crotty also had his calf strapped and was a spectator at training on Monday.

The good news is the return of Read, who was given an extra week off from playing duty, while flyhalf Colin Slade, who was not considered for the side to face the Chiefs because of a calf complaint, should be available for selection if he proves his fitness.

Slade participated in the warm-up exercises on Monday and looked to be running without discomfort.

Blackadder will be keen to have him back after Tyler Bleyendaal missed five penalties against the Chiefs.

He was replaced by Tom Taylor at half-time.

If Crotty fails to recover, Taylor is likely to start at inside centre.

"There are clouds over a few people who are in contention - Richie is straining a little bit, he has got a little bruise there and Ryan Crotty is not doing a full training today," Crusaders assistant coach Tabai Matson said.

"We got dinged up, as they [the Chiefs] did, so we are just taking a few days to recover."

Source: Fairfax NZ News

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