Blacks seek to allay McCaw fears

All Blacks assistant coach Steve Hansen says Richie McCaw’s foot injury will not preclude him from selection for the semi-final but said he wouldn’t train with the team until Saturday.

McCaw has been plagued by the injury since the Super Rugby season, and there are strong reports that he has been heavily medicated in order to take the field during the tournament.

There were fears that McCaw’s tournament was over on Wednesday when Crusaders team-mate Matt Todd took part in the Blacks’ training session. Hansen said Todd’s presence was nothing unusual, citing that he was in the wider training group. He also said McCaw’s foot is ‘fine’.

‘He didn’t train last week on the pitch, and he probably won’t train on the pitch until probably the captain’s run and he’ll do very little,’ Hansen said.

Hansen said his injury wasn’t affecting his match performances. ‘I think he played pretty well last week. It was a tough game last week for loose forwards I thought because the Pumas were outstanding defensively and got a lot of numbers in the breakdown. It was a tough game and I thought he played well.’