McCaw back in training brings you the latest from New Zealand’s Super 14 franchises.

McCaw back in training

All Blacks captain Richie McCaw has returned to training with the Crusaders despite still being four weeks away from fitness.

McCaw was running at training, albeit in straight lines, but it was another step in his recovery from the right-knee medial ligament injury that he suffered in the fourth-round match against the Highlanders in Dunedin.

A spokesman said it was unlikely McCaw would start before the Crusaders’ first game of their three-game tour of South Africa which starts against the Sharks in Durban on 18 April.

Kieran Read (hip) and Leon MacDonald (bruised ribs) are expected to be available for selection to play the Stormers on Saturday but there is doubt over George Whitelock, who suffered a deep cut to his thigh.

Kade Poki and Casey Laulala are expected to be available for the Stormers game after several weeks out with injury, and wing Sean Maitland is making progress from a hamstring injury and played 50 minutes during a club game over the weekend.

Donald promises more of the same

According to flyhalf Stephen Donald the Chiefs will not be going back into their shells following their scintillating performance against the Blues last week.

After their 63-34 demolition of the Blues, a lot of the talk has turned to things like consistency and the lack of it in the recent past, and the need to back up that free-flowing, nine-try display with something equally as impressive this week.

Donald, who was the catalyst for most of the Chiefs explosive attacks, admitted that his side had put a bit of pressure on themselves by reaching such a high levels last week.

But he made it clear that he and his team-mates were embracing the standards they set at Waikato Stadium, and are looking for more of the same against the Reds.

‘The boys can’t wait to get back out on the field again,’ said Donald. ‘Rugby’s never been so much fun – I guess is one way of looking at it.

‘The boys are genuinely excited. We’ve touched on it. Let’s not be negative about the fact we’ve got to back it up. Let’s be excited about getting back on the park again. It’s just exciting to go out and try and put another decent performance together.’

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