March 6, 2008 - 4:48PM
All Blacks skipper Richie McCaw has put a scare through the Crusaders' camp ahead of this Sunday's Super 14 clash with the Western Force, leaving today's training session early with apparent groin soreness.
The dominant openside flanker left the training session at Perth's Wesley college in apparent discomfort, and was later pulled from scheduled media events.
But a Crusaders spokesman said the early departure from training had been precautionary, and McCaw was likely be fit and available for the clash with the Force at Subiaco Oval on Sunday afternoon.
Scare . . . All Blacks skipper Richie McCaw in danger of missing Sunday's match against the Western Force. Photo: Getty Images
FRIDAY, MARCH 7
HIGHLANDERS v HURRICANES
at Carisbrook, Dunedin, 5.35pm
NSW WARATAHS v BRUMBIES
at Sydney Football Stadium, 7.40pm
SATURDAY, MARCH 8
BULLS v LIONS
at Loftus Versfeld, Pretoria, 4.05am
CHIEFS v CHEETAHS
at Waikato Stadium, Hamilton, 5.35pm
SUNDAY, MARCH 9
SHARKS v BLUES
at Absa Stadium, Durban, 4.10am
WESTERN FORCE v CRUSADERS
at Subiaco Oval, Perth, 7.10pm
Last meeting: Crusaders 53-0 in Christchurch, April 7, 2007
Australian rugby fans' grins grow wider with every Robbie Deans triumph - perhaps apart from those in Perth this week. Deans' second placed Crusaders haven't been troubled by the Brumbies, Bulls, Stormers or ELVs in 2008, although the Force will be desperate to wipe last year's demolition job from their memories. The seventh placed Force eked out two wins from three on their South African jaunt but have been far from convincing in the wake of the Matt Henjak sacking. Star five-eighth Matt Giteau comes up against All Black champion Dan Carter in what could be the beginning of a long rivalry at Super 14 and Test level. Deans says he won't be watching Giteau. No, really. Not even a little bit.
Force: Cameron Shepherd, Scott Staniforth, Ryan Cross, Lachlan Mackay, Drew Mitchell, Matt Giteau, Chris O'Young, Richard Brown, David Pocock, Tamaiti Horua, Nathan Sharpe, Tom Hockings, AJ Whalley, Tai McIsaac, Gareth Hardy.Res: Luke Holmes, Troy Takiari, Sam Wykes, Matt Hodgson, James Stannard, Scott Daruda, Josh Tatupu.
Crusaders: Leon MacDonald, Scott Hamilton, Casey Laulala, Stephen Brett, Caleb Ralph, Daniel Carter, Andrew Ellis, Mose Tuialii, Richard McCaw (captain), Kieran Read, Ali Williams, Brad Thorn, Greg Somerville, Corey Flynn, Ben Franks. Res: Tii Paulo, Wyatt Crockett, Reuben Thorne, Nasi Manu, Kahn Fotualii, Tim Bateman, Sean Maitland.
Click on the link above to read the preview of the other matches ; thank you :)