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McCaw taking a break from AllBlacks endorsed by Hansen

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James Mortimer     22 Sep 2012     Getty Images

However unlike his Crusaders team-mate, McCaw has made it clear on numerous occasions that playing overseas doesn't interest him, and the clause, which could in effect run for six months, would likely see the 110-test flanker take a well earned break.

All Blacks coach Steve Hansen said he wasn't sure if McCaw would even take it, but cautioned it would be neccessary if he wishes to lead the All Blacks to the 2015 Rugby World Cup in England.

"If we want to get him through to the next World Cup, then it would be a good idea if he uses it at some point," he said,

"But nothing has been finalised that I'm aware of at this point."

McCaw made a late start to Investec Super Rugby this year as he recovered from his foot injury, and of late has been back to his best, racking up best on field figures in most catagories in recent tests in the Investec Rugby Championship.

Hansen said that McCaw would make the call if he saw fit.

"At the end of the day, Richie is a smart enough man to know what his body needs," he said.

There has been suggestion that next season's Super Rugby campaign could be missed by McCaw, but with the Crusaders looking for a new attack coach, one would be surprised to see the All Blacks captain step down with the red and blacks looking to win their first Super Rugby title since 2008.