Richie McCaw to feature for Christchurch this weekend

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James Mortimer     10 Jul 2013     Getty Images

McCaw, who took seven months away from the game, has been in heavy training since being back in New Zealand, after a break where he did a little bit of work (promotional duties for Fonterra in Sri Lanka) and immersed himself in some late night traditions (being sighted on the David Lettermen show).

The 116-Test World Cup winning skipper, following a program by All Blacks strength and conditioning coach Nic Gill, has been training with the Crusaders, but has also been with the Christchurch RFC, and will be a regular part of team training as they build towards this weekend.

Christchurch will play Lincoln University this weekend, and it will be the first time in over five years that McCaw has made an appearance for his club.

A solid hit out could see McCaw feature during the Crusaders Super Rugby Finals Series campaign, but both McCaw and coach Todd Blackadder have stressed that they will do what is best for the team – with the All Blacks captain insinuating he didn’t want to just ‘walk straight back’ into the starting side.

All Blacks coach Steve Hansen is expectant that McCaw will be fit to play in the World Champions first match of The Investec Rugby Championship against the Wallabies in Sydney on August 17, where New Zealand will face an Australian team with a new coach.