New Zealand captain Richie McCaw returns from seven-month break
New Zealand captain Richie McCaw will play his first match for nearly seven months on Saturday.
Last Updated: 09/07/13 8:20am
McCaw took a sabbatical to rest his battered body and so extend his career, but he will be back in action on Saturday when he turns out for his Christchurch club.
The 32-year-old returned to training last month and he is expected to be back in the All Blacks line-up for the Rugby Championship in August.
On Saturday he will play in the Canterbury Metro competition against Lincoln University, his first match since the All Blacks were beaten by England at Twickenham in December.
"He's there to play as long as we need him. Obviously it's a good hit-out for him," Christchurch co-coach Daniel O'Brien said.
"It will be his call to see how he's going. There are no restrictions at this stage."
Security has been beefed up for Saturday's match where McCaw will line up in a youthful side keen to make the most of playing alongside the three-times winner of the International Rugby Board's player-of-the-year award.
"There's a real excitement level to be playing alongside one of the greatest players to ever play in the country," O'Brien continued.
"It's exciting for those boys. It's something they'll be able to talk about for years to come."
The All Blacks kick off the defence of their Rugby Championship title on August 17 in Sydney against Australia with the return match in Wellington the following week and then home and away matches against South Africa and Argentina.