McCaw expected to start

Richie McCaw (Gallo Images)
Richie McCaw (Gallo Images)

Johannesburg - All Blacks coach Steve Hansen expects star flank Richie McCaw to start against the Springboks at Ellis Park on 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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