Thursday, 16 October 2008
Richie McCaw has been named in the starting line-up for Canterbury in their Air New Zealand Cup semi-final match against Hawke’s Bay at AMI Stadium on Saturday night. McCaw, the All Blacks captain, came off the reserves bench to play the final 25 minutes of Canterbury’s 48-10 victory over Tasman in last weekend’s quarter-final at AMI Stadium.
He takes over the number seven jersey from George Whitelock, who has been named in the reserves.
Canterbury coach Rob Penney paid credit to Whitelock’s performances this season, saying: "George has played fantastically well at openside flanker for us. His progression throughout the season has really impressed me. Richie has got the nod over him for Saturday but George will continue to play an important role on the bench."
The rest of the starting line-up is the same as that which took the field against Tasman. There are two changes in the reserves, with hooker Steve Fualau coming in for Ti’i Paulo, whose knee injury suffered against Tasman has ruled him out for the rest of the season.
In the other change, loose forward Nasi Manu comes into the squad, replacing James Broadhurst. Manu, who has had ankle and back injuries, last played for Canterbury when coming off the bench against North Harbour in the round six victory at Albany on September 6. He has been cleared to return after playing for the Canterbury Colts against their Auckland counterparts last weekend.
Penney added: "It’s great to see Nasi back. He is a special talent and has brought great enthusiasm to the group since his return. We are looking for another lift in intensity across the whole squad for this match against Hawke’s Bay. We beat them at AMI Stadium in the round-robin but that counts for very little now. The Magpies will be desperate to make the final and we know they will throw everything at us."
Thanx for the link Rudy & Happy B-day!!!