Crusaders McCaw & Dagg to miss Hurricanes clash

All Black captain Richie McCaw will miss this weekend’s crunch New Zealand derby match with Super Rugby leaders the Hurricanes.

McCaw was knocked out in the Crusaders 29-15 victory over the Blues in Christchurch and had to leave the field in the 64th minute of the match.

The Crusaders had hoped that he would be fit to face the Hurricanes but Crusaders team doctor Deb Robinson has ruled him out of this week’s match.

Crusaders coach Todd Blackadder confirmed on Tuesday that McCaw will not be considered for selection.

“He was a little bit blurry and felt a little bit off, so it’s best not to risk him. When he came in and didn’t feel quite a hundred (per cent) on Monday, we just ruled him out.,” Blackadder told Stuff.

“He just got his head on the wrong side and just got kneed in the temple. Even after the game he was really chipper and was fine, and even today, he was 100 per cent, but it’s just not worth risking him.”

Blackadder said McCaw would continue to follow the graduated return protocols but he was feeling much better. “All signs are pretty positive. Hopefully, he’s back for next week.”

Doctor Robinson said McCaw had not had a head injury for four years, and describe this a just “a discreet moment”. “He put his head in a bad place and paid the price.”

“Richie has made really good progress,” added Robinson.

“He had a bit of a mild headache (on Monday morning) but by (Monday) evening, he was feeling really well. “

“But we made the decision that if he was still symptomatic on Monday, he wouldn’t play this weekend.”

“The reason behind that if we have a graduated set of protocols. If he’s not fit to start that on the Monday, it means doing contact on Friday at captain’s run, and I don’t think that’s appropriate that we wait that long.”

“I think the best time to do contact is Thursday at training.”

Blackadder said the Crusaders were “always cautious around head knocks” and had experience managing concussion after captain Kieran Read’s experience last year, Blackadder said.

“We’ll always put player safety ahead of wanting him out there playing for us. We;ll always do the right thing by our players. We did it really well last year with Reado. We took our time, didn’t rush him back and followed procedure. It was really how he was feeling and whether he was confident, and he worked his way back into it.”

McCaw last had a head knock in 2011. “He knows his body really well, he’s been there before,” Blackadder said.

“This is just an isolated, one-off incident where he just got a hard bang to the head. But he’s fairly good. It was touch and go, but it’s best not to risk him.”

The Crusaders have alternated McCaw and Matt Todd on the openside flank so he is almost certain to come into the starting line up.

In other news All Blacks fullback Israel Dagg will have to wait another week to make his return from a calf niggle and Blackadder said that Johnny McNicholl and Jone Macilai should play club rugby this weekend and could be considered for Crusaders selection next week.

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