All Blacks suffer injury scare over Carter and McCaw

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The Independent Online

New Zealand suffered a fright yesterday when two key All Blacks, the captain Richie McCaw and fly-half Daniel Carter, pulled out of today's game against Canada.

McCaw has a foot problem and Carter suffered a groin injury in training. A statement said he would be assessed by medical staff.

"My foot is a bit niggly,"said McCaw of a problem that caused him to miss part of the Super 15. "If I had to play tomorrow in a knockout gameI would but the decision was to make sure I'm right next week."

Australia have lost the wing Drew Mitchell for the rest of the tournament, after a 68-22 win against Russia in Nelson secured a last-eight spot. Mitchell injured a hamstring after scoring two tries for a team hit so hard by injury that the No 8 Radike Samo started on the other wing.

Australia's captain, James Horwill, said: "Obviously he's bitterly disappointed. But he was very positive in the changing rooms and all the boys rallied around. He wants us to do the job we're here to do."

Martin Snedden, the chief executive of the New Zealand World Cup organising company, has said that he would like to help England stage a successful tournament in 2015.

"I'll be out of a job when the World Cup contract ends at Christmas," Snedden said. "A lot depends on whether this World Cup is regarded as successful. If it is then some things will come up that I'd never even thought of. I'm open to anything."

The Samoa centre Eliota Fuimaono Sapolu appears certain to face severe disciplinary action after turning to Twitter again. Of the Welsh referee Nigel Owens, who handled the 13-5 defeat by South Africa on Friday that put Samoa out of the tournament, the Gloucester player tweeted: "All I'm hearing is how bullshit the ref was!... I can understand the hate!!... Haha good luck u racist biased prick."

Sapolu was warned by the tournament authorities two weeks ago , after using Twitter to say, with reference to Samoa's tournament schedule, that they had been subject to "Unfair treatment, like slavery, like the holocaust, like apartheid".