Super Rugby
McCaw to miss season for Crusaders
April 13, 2013
New Zealand captain Richie McCaw, Scotland v New Zealand, Murrayfield, Edinburgh, Scotland, November 11, 2012
All Blacks skipper Richie McCaw doesn't want to take the place of another Crusaders forward © PA Photos

All Blacks captain Richie McCaw won't play for the Crusaders this season and will make a return to rugby via his Christchurch club when his six-month break ends.

A Crusaders official confirmed McCaw would play no part in the Crusaders' campaign, even though they are still scheduled to play three rounds of matches in June and July after his sabbatical has ended. They could also be involved in the play-offs in July and August, having not missed qualifying for the semi-finals since 2001.

However, the 32-year-old has told All Blacks coach Steve Hansen he would feel uncomfortable taking the place of another Crusaders loose forward so had made himself unavailable.

It means the 116-Test veteran will play several games for his Christchurch rugby club before potentially leading his country in the Rugby Championship opener against Australia in Sydney on August 17.

A clause in McCaw's contract allowed the veteran flanker to take an extended break, ruling him out of the three home Tests against France in June.

He has travelled internationally and spent time pursuing his interest in gliding.

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