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Cane in squad to cover warhorse McCaw

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James Mortimer     28 Sep 2012     Getty Images

All Blacks coach Steve Hansen confirmed this as the team was named, saying that McCaw had taken a knock late against the Springboks in Dunedin on September 15.

The captain has trained freely throughout the week, but the chance to spell McCaw early and give Cane further development as an All Black are the reasons why the young prodigy was picked ahead of Victor Vito.

"Rich got a knock on the leg late in the game so it gives us an option there if that flares up," Hansen said.

"We want to make sure we've got cover there."

"Rich has had a lot of game time. It also gives Sam an opportunity to grow."

Cane is on the bench for the first time during The Investec Rugby Championship, unable to add to his outstanding performance in Hamilton when he covered for an injured McCaw in the third test of the Steinlager Series.

The 20-year-old made his debut against Ireland in Christchurch, and could earn his first overseas cap if he comes off the pine.