News in Brief
McCaw survives rare club outing
Richie McCaw poses with team-mates after a run-out for Christchurch
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- All Blacks captain Richie McCaw has declared that he is ready to face Australia in the opening game of the Tri-Nations next Saturday after emerging unscathed from a rare appearance in club rugby. McCaw played his first game since injuring his knee with the Crusaders in their Super 14 semi-final against the Bulls on May 24.
He played 45 minutes for his Christchurch club - his first for them since 2001 - and was breathing hard after being replaced.
"The knee was really good, it was probably just the lungs that were the only thing. It felt really good," McCaw told reporters, believing the game was needed ahead of next Saturday's Bledisloe Cup defence at Eden Park. "A bit of contact, I got the ball in hand a wee bit, made a few tackles. That was what I was after. It was nice to have a hit-out going into next weekend and good to have a run with the boys."
Included in a crowd of about 1000 for the game against Lincoln was satisfied All Blacks forward coach Steve Hansen.
"What he did do, he did well," Hansen said. "He cleaned out well over the ball and his link play was good. He'll be happy with what he did today and we can go into next week with some confidence."
- Australian Rugby Union chairman Peter McGrath has reacted with shock to the news that Wallaby skipper Stirling Mortlock has been named as a supporter of the Australian Rugby Union Players' Association's (RUPA) proposed legal action following the abrupt sacking of winger Lote Tuqiri.
According to The Australian, RUPA will soon appoint a judge to investigate the termination of Tuqiri's contract, with the ARU having given no reason as to why he was dismissed. Suggestions have been made in the wake of the incident that Wallaby chiefs had a personal agenda against the 67-times-capped Tuqiri, a claim that has been denied by ARU chief John O'Neill.
Tony Dempsey, RUPA chief executive, specifically named Mortlock as a supporter of their action and while McGrath has since stressed that there will be no action against the player he is worried at his name being dragged in to the affair. Mortlock is currently preparing his Wallbies to take on the All Blacks in the opening game of the Tri-Nations at Eden Park next Saturday.
"You would never see a trade union official embroil a member like that," McGrath said. "Tony actually demonstrated he's not an industrial relations negotiator. People handle things in different ways and I accept that. But it's a very unusual approach. Stirling is a rugby player of great note and the Australian captain. We all need to be very careful about what is said."
- Former Swansea and Wales hooker Garin Jenkins has been appointed as Elite Youth Development Officer by the Ospreys. Jenkins has been involved with the region in various roles since its inception, and will now scour the various youth sides in the area for young talent.
"I've been with the Ospreys since the very beginning, as the very first Academy Director, a Development Officer and recently as Under 21 and Under 20 Head Coach, so my roles have been diverse and I've already being doing a lot of things that the new role entails" he said. "What this position gives me is a clarity of role, it's more defined, and will enable me to create solid foundations for the region and help to provide long term sustainability for the Ospreys."