Super Rugby
McCaw to take six-month sabbatical
ESPN Staff
September 23, 2012
Richie McCaw relaxes with the Rugby World Cup on a flight to Christchurch, Cristchurch Airport, New Zealand, October 25, 2011
Richie McCaw will sit out the game for six months © Getty Images

The Crusaders have confirmed that All Blacks skipper Richie McCaw will take a six month sabbatical from the game.

The world class flanker has the clause written into his contract and with his physical and abrasive style of rugby inevitably leading to injury, Crusaders coach Todd Blackadder and All Blacks boss Steve Hansen hope that the time away from the game will lead to McCaw's career being prolonged in the lead up to the 2015 World Cup.

McCaw will skipper the All Blacks on their end of season tour to the northern hemisphere and will then sit out next season's Super Rugby tournament and New Zealand's June Tests against France.

"It is definitely going to happen," Todd Blackadder, the coach of McCaw's Crusaders Super Rugby side, told the Sunday Star-Times. "Richie is going to take a sabbatical. He will probably be available after June. He won't be available for the tests or Super Rugby, so he's going to get a good break.

"He had it written into his contract and he's elected to take it... It will freshen him up and he'll come back and be good for the next couple of years."

The news means that the three times IRB Player of the Year will follow in the footsteps of Kiwi fly-half Dan Carter who opted for a spell away from New Zealand back in 2008. He journeyed to France to play for Perpignan but found his playing time limited by a serious Achilles injury.

McCaw is the Crusaders' captain and that honour has been passed to Kieran Read for next season.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

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