All Blacks: Hansen expects McCaw to start

Richie McCaw is expected to front against the Springboks on Sunday. Photo / Getty Images
Richie McCaw is expected to front against the Springboks on Sunday. Photo / Getty Images

The All Blacks will welcome back skipper Richie McCaw with open arms for Sunday morning's Rugby Championship decider against the Springboks in Johannesburg.

McCaw has recovered from the knee injury suffered a month ago against the Wallabies and coach Steve Hansen expects him to front at Ellis Park as long as he comes through training this week.

"I don't want to downplay what Sam's (Cane) done the last couple of weeks, because I think he's been fantastic, but the other guy's probably the greatest player we've ever had so it'll be nice having him back on the track,'' Hansen said.

The All Blacks leave Buenos Aires today for the nine hour flight to Johannesburg with Owen Franks the only player under an injury cloud, suffering from a groin strain.

Ben Afeaki will join the squad as cover.

Hansen said leaving in the evening and arriving in the morning will help.

"That's one good thing about the plane ride, it fits into their time zone of sleeping so we get on a plane we'll probably have the first meal and then try and get as much sleep as we possibly can.''

- Newstalk ZB

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