May 1st, 2009
Crusaders captain Richie McCaw has a mild concussion which has prevented him from playing for his side in the Rebel Sport Super 14 match against the Lions in Johannesburg early tomorrow morning (NZ time).
McCaw suffered a cut above his left eye during the match against the Cheetahs last weekend and also took a knock to his head. He cut his forehead in the match against the Sharks the weekend before.
After the Cheetahs match McCaw showed some concussion symptoms and it was decided after Thursday’s training run that he would be replaced at openside flanker by Jonathan Poff.
The concussion is not thought to be serious. Normal concussion guidelines in these cases suggest a five to 10 day recovery period but McCaw will not play until he is asymptomatic, as is the normal protocol.
He will be monitored day by day as to his predicted return to the playing field.
Poff travelled to South Africa as a late replacement for George Whitelock, who damaged a knee cartilage during the team’s first training run in Durban and returned to Christchurch.
Poff has impressed during his limited opportunities for the Crusaders. He came on as a replacement in the victory over the Stormers at AMI Stadium on March 28, his first match for the Crusaders, and head coach Todd Blackadder is sure he will do well against the Lions.
“Poffy is a tough guy and a really good player. He had an excellent Air New Zealand Cup season with Tasman and has done well on the training field, particularly since linking up with us in South Africa,” Blackadder said.
Whitelock has had keyhole surgery on his injured knee and could return for the Crusaders before the end of the season.