All Black captain Richie McCaw has seen little action in 2013, but his coach and team-mates believe he is ready to return to action.
All Black captain Richie McCaw has seen little action in 2013, but his coach and team-mates believe he is ready to face Australia in Sydney on Saturday.
McCaw has played a full match for his Christchurch club, 28 minutes from the replacements bench in two Super Rugby appearances for the Crusaders, and half a trial game for the All Blacks this year.
That's a total of 148 minutes of rugby but Kieran Read is confident he will be back to his best 260 days since he last played in a Test.
“It's nice, he's excited and probably a bit nervous too,” Read said of his captain.
“He will do his job. He hasn't played too much footy but I am sure he has to turn up and really focus on what he needs to do.”
It was originally felt that McCaw might need a full trial game to boost his match sharpness but he was done by the break.
Coach Steve Hansen was satisfied while it may also have been precautionary after McCaw's recent neck niggle.
“Energy-wise he was pretty good and could have carried on but we thought that 40 was enough,” Hansen revealed said.
When asked if he thought McCaw is good enough to start Hansen responded: “I don't think he is going to be good enough, I know he is good enough.”