All Blacks captain returns against the Reds

ALL Blacks captain Richie McCaw could play his first Super Rugby game of 2013 for the Crusaders in Saturday's home qualifying final against the Queensland Reds.

McCaw has played just once since early December, a club game for Christchurch last Saturday.

Coach Todd Blackadder said he had watched the final 30 minutes of that match, adding he had to decide between McCaw's obvious class and not upsetting the team's dynamic with loose forwards Matt Todd, Kieran Reid and George Whitelock having been in good form in recent weeks

"He's a quality player and he's Richie McCaw of course, but at the end of the day you have to put this team first," Blackadder said.

McCaw is likely to start on the bench. Injured pair Tom Taylor and Luke Romano are expected to be available for selection.

The Reds, who have not beaten the Crusaders in Christchurch since 1999, are sweating on the fitness of centre Anthony Faingaa.

Winger Rod Davies faces at least four months on the sidelines after injuring is knee during Saturday night's 14-12 win against the Waratahs.