Gatland says Carter is not fit

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The Independent Online

The Wales coach, Warren Gatland, said yesterday that he does not expect New Zealand's Dan Carter to be fit enough to face his side at the Millennium Stadium tomorrow. Carter has been named in the All Blacks XV, but has not trained this week as a result of a calf injury.

"We don't think Carter will be fit to play," Gatland said. "It's one of the reasons they've named Brendon Leonard at scrum-half – it gives them a left- and right-foot kicking option. It's whether they go with Stephen Donald or Mike Delany at 10. A lot's been said about the fact that when Dan Carter and Richie McCaw don't play for the All Blacks they're maybe a bit vulnerable."

This will be news to Carter. "I'm confident I'll be able to run out there and pull on the black jersey again," he said yesterday.

The 27-year-old fly-half sustained the injury in last Saturday's win over Australia in Tokyo, and coach Graham Henry conceded his fitness was "questionable" after selecting him on Wednesday. Carter has scored a staggering 92 points in his five Tests thus far against Wales.

The All Blacks continued their preparations in Cardiff yesterday, with Henry having announced a team showing six changes from last Saturday's win. Their line-up also includes one new cap in 20-year-old Wellington Hurricanes wing Zac Guildford, who suffered personal tragedy earlier this year when, while he was playing in the World Cup Under-20 tournament in Japan, his father died.

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