Thursday, February 19, 2009

Concussed McCaw ruled out of Brumbies match

Thursday, 19 February 2009

Crusaders skipper Richie McCaw has concussion and won't be risked against the Brumbies as the Super 14 champions also look to cover the loss of two other All Blacks for Saturday night's demanding fixture in Canberra.

Lock Brad Thorn (heel) and fullback Leon MacDonald (shoulder) join McCaw on the sidelines for this second round match.
Flanker McCaw suffered a head knock in the opening victory over the Chiefs last week.
The Crusaders said that and although McCaw has improved significantly, according to concussion protocols he has not recovered sufficiently to play on Saturday.
McCaw has a history of head problems for both the Crusaders and the All Blacks.
George Whitelock pulls on the No 7 jersey this weekend, facing a big battle against Wallabies flanker George Smith.
Crusaders head coach Todd Blackadder said McCaw was close to being available but was not quite 100 per cent.

"He has been following our concussion protocols this week and we've been monitoring him closely but the Crusaders management, along with Richie, have decided that he won't play this week," Blackadder said.

Thorn left AMI Stadium last week with a plantar fascia injury while MacDonald also went off early against the Chiefs with an A/C joint injury.
Isaac Ross comes in for Thorn and utility Stephen Brett replaces MacDonald.
Flanker Kieran Read will captain the side.

Blackadder said it was too early to say how long Thorn and MacDonald would be out for.
Blackadder was confident the injured players' replacements would step up against the Brumbies.

"George, Isaac and Stephen are quality players and this is a great opportunity for them," he said."You can never go through this competition without picking up injuries and, although having three experienced players out at the same time is unfortunate, I'm sure these young guys will make their presence felt."

Loose forward Nasi Manu and back Ryan Crotty come on to the reserves bench.

CRUSADERS: 15 Stephen Brett, 14 Jared Payne, 13 Casey Laulala, 12 Tim Bateman, 11 Kade Poki, 10 Colin Slade, 9 Andy Ellis, 8 Thomas Waldrom, 7 George Whitelock, 6 Kieran Read (c), 5 Ross Filipo, 4 Isaac Ross, 3 Ben Franks, 2 Corey Flynn, 1 Wyatt Crockett.
Reserves: 16 Jason Macdonald, 17 Bronson Murray, 18 Michael Paterson, 19 Nasi Manu, 20 Kahn Fotuali'i, 21 Ryan Crotty, 22 Adam Whitelock.

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