Richie McCaw is out of Sunday’s Test against Canada but the word is Dan Carter could be out of the World Cup.
New Zealand’s first Test Centurion and regular captain Richie McCaw again was forced to withdraw because of the troublesome foot injury which has hindered his game time all season. McCaw has played two of the three World Cup matches, but pulled up in the week of the Japan match, and despite training this week felt he would be risking further damage by playing against Canada.
He confirmed that if it was a play-off match he would play through the pain.
Carter was originally named captain after McCaw’s withdrawal, but New Zealand news reports later in the day were that Colin Slade had replaced Carter and that a groin injury had threatened to end Carter’s tournament.
Marc Hinton, on Rugbyheaven.co.nz, wrote McCaw’s injury stems from the operation he had on the fifth metatarsal bone in his right foot in February and he revealed the sore limb has had to be managed throughout the year.
His decision to withdraw, he said, was because it was still ‘a bit niggly’.
He maintained that if the Canada fixture was a sudden-death match he would have been fit to play.
‘It is something I have managed all through the year. I got through training yesterday fine. I wanted to get ready for next week – that is why this decision has been made.
‘I was pretty keen to play but with the knockout match next week I wanted to be ready to go.
‘It was a bit frustrating but it is a niggle I have dealt with for a while.”
Victor Vito will start as open side.