Mercy for McCaw

Graham Henry wants one last 80 minutes from his All Blacks captain before giving him five weeks rest.

Henry confirmed that McCaw, who has led the All Blacks in seven of the eight tests and will captain the side in Saturday’s ninth test of the season, is deserving of the break. Henry said it was always the plan to give McCaw five weeks off, while others like Dan Carter would probably get a month off.

The two would then be eased back into action in the final few weeks of October to prepare themselves for the All Blacks end of year tour that includes two tests against France and one against England.

The rest of the squad would be assessed according to each individual’s workload in the season. Some players would play in the domestic competition next weekend, some would play club rugby and others would get between two and four weeks off rugby.

Henry said the schedule had been worked out at the beginning of the year.