After a rocky start to the Super Rugby season, the stars are aligning for Todd Blackadder’s Canterbury Crusaders with flanker Richie McCaw set to return from a long injury lay-off and help drive the side toward the play-offs. The All Blacks skipper has been sidelined with a broken thumb for the past two months but may ease back into the action off the bench against the high-flying ACT Brumbies in Christchurch on Saturday. “If he does get through training, potentially it will be an impact role off the bench,” said Crusaders forwards coach Dave Hewett. If [McCaw] does get through training, potentially it will be an impact role off the bench Crusaders forwards coach Dave Hewett “Given the conditions and how the other loose forwards pull up over the week could determine whether he starts or comes off the bench.” While McCaw’s return is a bonus for the clash against the highly disciplined Australian conference leaders, the way the Crusaders have rallied without their talisman has been more encouraging. Matt Todd has performed well at openside flanker in McCaw’s absence and after galvanising their season with two emphatic wins in South Africa the Crusaders continued their renaissance by upsetting the champion Waikato Chiefs in their own backyard. Eighth in the table on 22 points and coming off a bye, a win over the Brumbies could see the Crusaders break into the top six for the first time this season. Cheika sanctioned for abuse of cameraman New South Wales Waratahs coach Michael Cheika has been given a suspended six-month ban by Super Rugby’s governing body after he admitted abusing a cameraman in South Africa during a Super Rugby match in late March. Cheika, 47, was charged with misconduct for using crude, insulting or abusive language, a breach of Sanzar’s code of conduct, during his team’s defeat to the Sharks in Durban. Judicial officer Nigel Hampton found that Cheika had abused the cameraman at least twice shortly after half-time, with accompanied finger pointing, and swore at him on at least one further occasion. The ban is suspended until August 31 next year, with Cheika ordered to pay costs of A$6,000 (HK$43,000) and apologise to the cameraman.