All Blacks captain Richie McCaw not returning until August
Last Updated: April 13, 2013 11:41am
Richie McCaw: No top-level rugby until August
All Blacks captain Richie McCaw will miss the entire Super Rugby season, extending his sabbatical from the sport.
The 32-year-old has not played since New Zealand's 38-21 defeat by England at Twickenham last December, and by the time he returns for their Rugby Championship clash with Australia in August he will have been absent for 10 months.
McCaw's only rugby between now and then will be for his Christchurch club side, but All Blacks coach Steve Hansen has no problem with his decision.
Hansen said McCaw had decided against rejoining the Canterbury Crusaders this season as he did not want to displace any players who had served the team through the early part of the year.
"He won't be there even if someone falls over," Hansen said. "That means there is no pressure on him to get back into training now.
"I want him to stay away - he will be in good shape when he gets back and there is no way he would let himself go."
McCaw decided to take the sabbatical, the option for which was written into his contract, to prolong his international career long enough to have one more World Cup - the next tournament will be held in England in 2015.