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All Blacks captain plans to take rest

AFP-JIJI

All Blacks captain Richie McCaw is to take an extended break from rugby, sitting out next year’s Super 15 championship and the June tests against France, Canterbury Crusaders officials confirmed Sunday.

The talismanic open-side flanker and three-time IRB player of the year is to enact the six-month sabbatical clause in his contract in the hope it will help extend his playing days through to the next World Cup in 2015.

“It is definitely going to happen,” Todd Blackadder, the coach of McCaw’s Crusaders Super 15 side, told the Sunday Star-Times.

“Richie is going to take a sabbatical. He will probably be available after June. He won’t be available for the tests or Super Rugby, so he’s going to get a good break.”

The 31-year-old McCaw will play in the All Blacks’ remaining Rugby Championship matches against Argentina and South Africa over the next two weeks and the end-of-year tour to Europe before taking to the sidelines.