Colin Slade excited by New Zealand opportunity

New Zealand fly-half Colin Slade is eager to grasp his opportunity to steer the All Blacks to the Rugby World Cup semi-final in Sunday's clash with Argentina in Auckland.

Slade has inherited the All Blacks' fabled number 10 jersey following the tournament-ending groin injury to inspirational playmaker Dan Carter.



Rather than be over-awed by the challenge of filling the void created by Carter's absence, Slade is determined to deliver in the quarter-final at Eden Park.



He said: "It's an opportunity and it's one I've got to think positively about.



"I can't be any way burdened by it - I've got to be excited about it.



"It is an opportunity. I wasn't expecting it, I don't think anyone else was, either, but that's the way it's worked out.



"It's what every young fellow dreams of - to play in a World Cup, albeit through the disappointment of DC's injury."



Slade will attempt to relax and enjoy the occasion.



"I'm a young guy but I'm pretty enthusiastic about it and pretty excited about the opportunity," he said.



"I'm going out there to be me - I'm not going out there to be DC.



"I'm going to play my game and lead the team the best way I know how.



"I want to go out there and assert myself from the start of the game.



"Sometimes things don't come off and you take a step back and breathe and relax.



"My job out there is to direct the team on the field and knowing that I'm going to start from the beginning of the game makes it a little bit easier to prepare for."



Slade will start outside scrum-half Piri Weepu and inside centre duo Ma'a Nonu and Conrad Smith, with Mils Muliaina set to win his 100th Test cap at full-back.



The 23-year-old Highlanders fly-half has been boosted by the backing of his experienced colleagues.



He said: "It's been awesome. The guys have been supporting me all week, preparations have been good.



"With DC going down there's a loss of leadership there, but other guys have stepped up and will continue to do so.



"It's made me calm down, I suppose and made me realise that they are going to help me out to do what's best for the team."



Smith expects Slade to raise his game.



The 29-year-old centre, who is set to win his 53rd cap on Sunday, said: "Everyone trusts you've been picked by the selectors and that you've got the quality to handle pressure situations that come with being an All Black.



"Regardless of the position you don't need to help them. They'll step up.



"You've got to have faith in them and that way, if they're good enough, they'll return the favour.



"That's what Sladey's done and that's what countless players have done in the All Black jersey.



"You put trust in them and you put faith in them and they deliver and that's when the team really functions."



The All Blacks' match with the Pumas is set to reunite their first-choice back row for the first time since the Tri-Nations.



Captain Richie McCaw is set to return from a foot injury alongside number eight Kieran Read and blindside flanker Jerome Kaino.



Kaino said: "It's awesome to have the two boys back. Richie and Reado add a lot to the team and also to how my game's played.



"To have them back takes a lot of pressure off me to try and lead these locks around."



News
people
Arts and Entertainment
Joel Edgerton, John Turturro and Christian Bale in Exodus: Gods and Kings
filmDirector said film would 'never have been financed' with ethnic minority actors in key roles
News
people
Sport
footballArsenal 2 Borussia Dortmund 0: And they can still top the group
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
An unseen image of Kurt Cobain at home featured in the film 'Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck'
film
News
Andy Murray with his girlfriend of nine years, Kim Sears who he has got engaged to
peopleWimbledon champion announces engagement to girlfriend Kim Sears
Arts and Entertainment
Jake Quickenden and Edwina Currie are joining the I'm A Celebrity...Get Me Out Of Here! camp
tv
Arts and Entertainment
George Mpanga has been shortlisted for the Critics’ Choice prize
music
News
Albert Camus (left) and Jean-Paul Sartre fell out in 1952 and did not speak again before Camus’s death
people
Arts and Entertainment
Roisin, James and Sanjay in the boardroom
tvReview: This week's failing project manager had to go
News
Ed Miliband visiting the Holocaust museum in Jerusalem. The Labour leader has spoken more openly of his heritage recently
newsAttacks on the Labour leader have coalesced around a sense that he is different, weird, a man apart. But are the barbs more sinister?
Arts and Entertainment
'Felfie' (2014) by Alison Jackson
photographyNew exhibition shows how female creatives are changing the way women are portrayed in advertising
News
i100
Extras
indybest
Life and Style
Fright night: the board game dates back to at least 1890
life
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

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

Career Services

Day In a Page

Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

It's in all our interests to look after servicemen and women who fall on hard times, say party leaders
Millionaire Sol Campbell wades into wealthy backlash against Labour's mansion tax

Sol Campbell cries foul at Labour's mansion tax

The former England defender joins Myleene Klass, Griff Rhys Jones and Melvyn Bragg in criticising proposals
Nicolas Sarkozy returns: The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?

Sarkozy returns

The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?
Is the criticism of Ed Miliband a coded form of anti-Semitism?

Is the criticism of Miliband anti-Semitic?

Attacks on the Labour leader have coalesced around a sense that he is different, weird, a man apart. But is the criticism more sinister?
Ouija boards are the must-have gift this Christmas, fuelled by a schlock horror film

Ouija boards are the must-have festive gift

Simon Usborne explores the appeal - and mysteries - of a century-old parlour game
There's a Good Girl exhibition: How female creatives are changing the way women are portrayed in advertising

In pictures: There's a Good Girl exhibition

The new exhibition reveals how female creatives are changing the way women are portrayed in advertising
UK firm Biscuiteers is giving cookies a makeover - from advent calendars to doll's houses

UK firm Biscuiteers is giving cookies a makeover

It worked with cupcakes, doughnuts and macarons so no wonder someone decided to revamp the humble biscuit
Can SkySaga capture the Minecraft magic?

Can SkySaga capture the Minecraft magic?

It's no surprise that the building game born in Sweden in 2009 and now played by millions, has imitators keen to construct their own mega money-spinner
The King's School is way ahead of the pack when it comes to using the latest classroom technology

Staying connected: The King's School

The school in Cambridgeshire is ahead of the pack when it comes to using the latest classroom technology. Richard Garner discovers how teachers and pupils stay connected
Christmas 2014: 23 best women's perfumes

Festively fragrant: the best women's perfumes

Give a loved one a luxe fragrance this year or treat yourself to a sensual pick-me-up
Arsenal vs Borussia Dortmund: Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain celebrates century with trademark display of speed and intuition

Arsenal vs Borussia Dortmund

The Ox celebrates century with trademark display of speed and intuition
Billy Joe Saunders vs Chris Eubank Jnr: When two worlds collide

When two worlds collide

Traveller Billy Joe Saunders did not have a pampered public-school upbringing - unlike Saturday’s opponent Chris Eubank Jnr
Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: Drifting and forgotten - turning lives around for ex-soldiers

Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: Turning lives around for ex-soldiers

Our partner charities help veterans on the brink – and get them back on their feet
Putin’s far-right ambition: Think-tank reveals how Russian President is wooing – and funding – populist parties across Europe to gain influence in the EU

Putin’s far-right ambition

Think-tank reveals how Russian President is wooing – and funding – populist parties across Europe to gain influence in the EU
Tove Jansson's Moominland: What was the inspiration for Finland's most famous family?

Escape to Moominland

What was the inspiration for Finland's most famous family?