McCaw expected to return for All Blacks

All Blacks coach Steve Hansen expects star flank Richie McCaw to start against the Springboks at Ellis Park Saturday in the Rugby Championship title decider.

A knee injury against Argentina this month forced the skipper to miss a home match against South Africa and the return game against the Pumas.

New Zealand arrived in Johannesburg Monday with Hansen upbeat that McCaw will be in the starting line-up for the sell-out Test.

“Richie got better and better last week as he trained in Argentina and feels he will be fine. I agree with that assessment,” said the coach.

There is concern about a groin injury prop Owen Franks sustained during the 33-15 triumph over Argentina in La Plata and Ben Afeaki is on stand-by.

Defendng champions New Zealand have 23 points and South Africa 18 going into the final-round southern hemisphere championship fixture.

To snatch the title, the Springboks must win by more than seven points, score four tries, and prevent the All Blacks picking up a four-try bonus point.

South Africa would then be level on 23 points with their greatest rivals, but have a better scoring differential.

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