Question marks over McCaw

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Question marks over McCaw

Crusaders coach Todd Blackadder is prepared to play a waiting game with Richie McCaw.

The Crusaders skipper missed last weekend’s Super 14 match against the Lions in Johannesburg because of concussion and their are now concerns the he could be out for longer then first expected.

‘It’s a day-by-day thing. He’s certainly improved from last week and over the weekend he felt really good. We will just see how he feels and take it one day at a time,’ Blackadder told rugbyheaven.co.nz. ‘We would like him to be available, of course, but there is not pressure there.’

Ripia faces familiar foe

Hurricanes flyhalf Willie Ripia is set to go up against the player who kept him sidelined at the Chiefs.

Ripia made the move to Taranaki from Waikato 18 months ago. With Stephen Donald dominating the No 10 jersey for Waikato and the Chiefs it was a natural step to take for 23-year-old.

Last year he ended the season as the Hurricanes’ goal-kicker and played in the Super 14 semi-final against the Crusaders, had to prove himself again in 2009 with coach Colin Cooper playing Piri Weepu at flyhalf in the beginning of the campaign.

A hamstring injury to Weepu saw Ripia given the chance and he has capitalised on his opportunity, forcing Weepu to come off the bench since his return.

Ripia knows he will be tested by the Chiefs and is looking forward to catching up with his former Waikato team-mates and in particular former schoolmate Liam Messam.

‘If I get the opportunity to play again I’m really looking forward to it,’ Ripia told rugbyheaven.co.nz. ‘It’s always a big test for any player who comes from that province to go back there and play against them.

‘It was a big move for me moving from Waikato, from my family and where I was comfortable. But I think it was one of my better decisions because I’m getting some starts and getting lots of game time for the Hurricanes.’