All Blacks back 'brave' Slade to fill Carter's big boots

Colin Slade is ready, willing and able to step into Dan Carter's shoes for the All Blacks in the knockout phase of the World Cup, coaches and team-mates said yesterday.

Carter, widely regarded as the best fly-half in the world, was ruled out of the rest of the tournament last weekend after injuring his groin in kicking practice, leaving the host nation fretting over the impact his absence will have on their title challenge.

Slade won his ninth cap as Carter's replacement in the dead-rubber final pool game against Canada and is expected to be handed the No 10 shirt for Sunday's quarter-final against Argentina at Eden Park.

Backs coach Wayne Smith attempted to ease the nation's jitters and said Slade had the full backing of the rest of the squad as he adjusted to being first choice.

"He's got a good skill set," Smith said. "He's a brave kid physically, he's strong in his defensive channel. So not too different to Daniel, really. Plans remain the same. Expectations are exactly the same. Belief of the squad is exactly the same. We don't see anything's changed.

"If you walk in the company of people who believe in you, you can achieve anything. He's got all the tools to make a go of it and he's got the belief and encouragement from the squad."

No 8 Kieran Read, who has overcome an ankle injury to be available for the Pumas tie, said he thought Slade had the temperament to deal with the job. "Colin is a pretty cool customer, he's got a level head on his shoulders," he said. "We expect that whoever is going to play will do the job and do it really well."

Aaron Cruden has been called up to replace Carter in the squad and Smith said the 22-year-old would be expected to play his natural game if he got his chance.

Despite his confidence that Slade would step up against Argentina, Read said Carter was a huge loss to the All Blacks. "We're hurt, man. He's a massive part of this group so within the squad we definitely are hurting for him," Read said. "It's really tough but what we've got to do is move on. The strength of our squad is what's going to win us this World Cup."

BUY RUGBY WORLD CUP TICKETS

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

The long walk west: they fled war in Syria, only to get held up in Hungary – now hundreds of refugees have set off on foot for Austria

They fled war in Syria...

...only to get stuck and sidetracked in Hungary
From The Prisoner to Mad Men, elaborate title sequences are one of the keys to a great TV series

Title sequences: From The Prisoner to Mad Men

Elaborate title sequences are one of the keys to a great TV series. But why does the art form have such a chequered history?
Giorgio Armani Beauty's fabric-inspired foundations: Get back to basics this autumn

Giorgio Armani Beauty's foundations

Sumptuous fabrics meet luscious cosmetics for this elegant look
From stowaways to Operation Stack: Life in a transcontinental lorry cab

Life from the inside of a trucker's cab

From stowaways to Operation Stack, it's a challenging time to be a trucker heading to and from the Continent
Kelis interview: The songwriter and sauce-maker on cooking for Pharrell and crying over potatoes

Kelis interview

The singer and sauce-maker on cooking for Pharrell
Refugee crisis: David Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia - will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi?

Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia...

But will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi, asks Robert Fisk
Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Humanity must be at the heart of politics, says Jeremy Corbyn
Joe Biden's 'tease tour': Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?

Joe Biden's 'tease tour'

Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?
Britain's 24-hour culture: With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever

Britain's 24-hour culture

With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever
Diplomacy board game: Treachery is the way to win - which makes it just like the real thing

The addictive nature of Diplomacy

Bullying, betrayal, aggression – it may be just a board game, but the family that plays Diplomacy may never look at each other in the same way again
Lady Chatterley's Lover: Racy underwear for fans of DH Lawrence's equally racy tome

Fashion: Ooh, Lady Chatterley!

Take inspiration from DH Lawrence's racy tome with equally racy underwear
8 best children's clocks

Tick-tock: 8 best children's clocks

Whether you’re teaching them to tell the time or putting the finishing touches to a nursery, there’s a ticker for that
Charlie Austin: Queens Park Rangers striker says ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

Charlie Austin: ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

After hitting 18 goals in the Premier League last season, the QPR striker was the great non-deal of transfer deadline day. But he says he'd preferred another shot at promotion
Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea