McCaw fears dismissed
All Blacks play down Todd's involvement in training
Last Updated: 12/10/11 10:58pm
New Zealand have moved to quell fears over Richie McCaw's fitness after Crusaders flanker Matt Todd took part in training.
McCaw has been struggling with a foot injury throughout the tournament, with the skipper missing the games against Japan and Canada as a precaution.
However the sighting of the highly-rated openside Todd at training has sparked rumours that McCaw's injury could be worse than was first feared.
The All Blacks, though, have insisted that Todd was one of a number of players from outside the initial 30-man RWC squad to take part in a special session ahead of Sunday's semi-final against Australia.
Todd, who was McCaw's understudy at the Crusaders, was joined by members of the Blues squad - with the All Blacks taking advantage of IRB rules which allow players outside the official selection to play a limited part in training.
"Richie McCaw's foot is fine."
Steve Hansen Quotes of the week
"Richie McCaw's foot is fine," said All Blacks assistant coach Steve Hansen on Thursday.
"Matt Todd is part of our wider training group and trained with us in Christchurch, as did other players down there.
"We have had other wider training group players come in for training at all the venues.
"Matt Todd is in Auckland and it just made sense to have him here. That doesn't mean Richie's foot is worse that it was. It doesn't mean Richie won't play on Sunday.
"It just means Matt Todd is in Auckland and that we wanted to use him for training as opposition. Hopefully that puts that away and we can talk about the game."