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Countdown begins for McCaw's rugby comeback

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James Mortimer     13 Jun 2013     Getty Images

McCaw, feted by some as the most valuable player in the game, stepped away from rugby late last December after playing in his 116th Test match against England, which was Test number 14 for the World Champions in 2012, and represented what was close to McCaw’s 1,000th minute of international rugby for the season - the most of any All Black.

The 32-year-old is expected to lead the All Blacks out as they begin their major title defence of the year, looking to keep hold of The Investec Rugby Championship trophy they won so emphatically last season.

While there is a small chance that McCaw might play for the Crusaders before donning the Black jersey, it is most likely that he will return via his club ‘Christchurch’, meaning that he will play in his original club colours for the first time in over five years.

Linking back up with the Crusaders would take a lot of factors, such as a potential appearance in the Investec Super Rugby Finals, the injury toll of the team, and who is playing in the back row at the time.

While listed this season by the Crusaders as part of their squad, there was no guarantee McCaw would play his 101st Super Rugby match according to Fairfax Media.

"It's still three or four weeks away yet,' McCaw said.

"That's the plan, whether it's a couple of weeks for them (his local club) or I go back and play for the Crusaders, it actually depends on how they go a little bit.'

Far from just running around his hotel room when travelling the world, McCaw was on a specific training program and was already on the way to preparing his body for rugby again.