Rugby Championship: Richie McCaw named in New Zealand training squad
Last Updated: July 29, 2013 8:50am
Richie McCaw: Back among Steve Hansen's forward options
Richie McCaw is back in the New Zealand fold after being included in their 30-man training squad ahead of the start of the Rugby Championship.
World Cup-winning captain McCaw spent six months on sabbatical and has only made a couple of cameo appearances for the Canterbury Crusaders since his return at the start of this month.
McCaw reportedly suffered soreness in his neck after playing 13 minutes in the Super Rugby semi-final defeat by the Waikato Chiefs on Saturday and might be used sparingly in the All Blacks' training games against Wellington and Canterbury.
Their Rugby Championship campaign starts against old enemies Australia in Sydney on August 17.
Tight-head prop Charlie Faumuina was also brought back into the training squad after he missed most of the Super Rugby season and the All Blacks June tests against France with a calf injury.
Coach Steve Hansen has omitted any likely call-ups from the Chiefs as they will be preparing for the Super Rugby final against the ACT Brumbies in Hamilton on Saturday.
Aaron Cruden, Tawera Kerr-Barlow, Liam Messam, Sam Cane, Brodie Retallick and Ben Afeaki are all likely to be in Hansen's squad for the Rugby Championship, which will be named next weekend.
Backs - Israel Dagg, Charles Piutau, Julian Savea, Ben Smith, Ma'a Nonu, Rene Ranger, Francis Saili, Conrad Smith, Beauden Barrett, Daniel Carter, TJ Perenara, Aaron Smith, Piri Weepu.
Forwards - Steven Luatua, Richie McCaw, Kieran Read, Brad Shields, Matt Todd, Victor Vito, Luke Romano, Jeremy Thrush, Samuel Whitelock, Wyatt Crockett, Charlie Faumuina, Ben Franks, Owen Franks, Tony Woodcock, Dane Coles, Andrew Hore, Keven Mealamu.