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McCaw to remain benched, DC not 100%

Published: 7:30AM Monday April 30, 2012 Source: Fairfax

Richie McCaw may not start against the Queensland Reds, while it's been revealed by Todd Blackadder that Dan Carter's leg is still not 100%

Although McCaw played the final 24 minutes of last night's 37-33 win over the Waratahs without re-aggravating his foot injury, Todd Blackadder warned the flanker may not be back in the starting team for next Sunday's match at AMI Stadium either.

"It is not to say we won't - but it is just that this time last year we were in this situation and he didn't play very well and we had to withdraw him against the Highlanders in Nelson,'' Crusaders coach Blackadder said.

"We will just wait and see how he goes.''

If McCaw is again listed on the bench it will mean no rest for stand-in captain and workaholic No 8 Kieran Read.

"I would give it a go but whether that will happen or not I don't know,'' McCaw admitted. "That's a discussion we have got to have. But to be fair I expected the lungs to be worse than they were.

"Sometimes the first week is purely adrenaline and the second week is worse. But I was reasonably happy with how the body felt.''

Although Read's recent form has been outstanding, his body has been taking a battering and he may require a rest before the June tests against Ireland.

However, he may be advised not to expect a holiday just yet because Blackadder is cautious about rotating him out while McCaw is not fully match-fit.

"Not the Reds game, I think we will carry 'Reado' through. If ever I put my hand up about making a mistake, it was the mistake I made last year of trying to transition Richie back in and transition 'Reado' back out.''

Mid-way through last season Blackadder discovered he was running short of leaders because Read was being rested, McCaw was injured and fill-in captain Andy Ellis also struggled with injury.

"It is important we just keep our momentum and that will keep the transition really smooth.''

A return to No 10 to Dan Carter, who played at second five-eighth for the third consecutive match outside Tom Taylor - who kicked 17 points and missed just one shot at goal - also may not happen against the Reds.

"We will consider that as soon as 'DC' gets his kicking leg right,'' Blackadder remarked. "If you take Tom out and 'DC' can't kick ... that's the reason for that.''

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