Saturday, July 11, 2009

McCaw survives club hit out

Video link here

All Blacks captain Richie McCaw pronounced himself ready to face Australia next week after emerging unscathed from a rare appearance in club rugby today.

McCaw played his first game since injuring his knee with the Crusaders in their Super 14 semifinal against the Bulls on May 24.

He played 45 minutes for his Christchurch club today - his first for them since 2001 - and was breathing hard after being replaced.

"The knee was really really good, it was probably just the lungs that were the only thing. It felt really good," McCaw told reporters, believing the game was needed ahead of next Saturday's opening Tri-Nations test against the Wallabies at Eden Park.

"A bit of contact, I got the ball in hand a wee bit, made a few tackles. That was what I was after.

"It was nice to have a hit-out going into next weekend and good to have a run with the boys."

Included in a crowd of about 1000 for the game against Lincoln was satisfied All Blacks forward coach Steve Hansen.

"What he did do, he did well," Hansen said.

"He cleaned out well over the ball and his link play was good.

"He'll be happy with what he did today and we can go into next week with some confidence."

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