New Zealand fly-half Dan Carter was ruled out of the rest of the World Cup. The news is a bitter blow to the tournament favourites.
Carter (29) suffered a groin injury during the All Blacks’ final training session on Friday ahead of their Pool A clash against Canada in Wellington.
Team doctor Deb Robinson confirmed at the weekend that Carter would miss the remainder of the finals.
Manawatu back Aaron Cruden has been called into the All Blacks World Cup squad by coach Graham Henry.
Carter, the world’s leading fly-half, suffered the injury during a kicking drill at Wellington Regional Stadium.
He immediately dropped to the ground in agony, and it was soon evident that his World Cup was over.
Henry must now decide whether to persevere with Slade moving towards the tournament’s knockout phase, or use another option such as half-back Piri Weepu.
Robinson said a scan had shown Carter to have torn the adductor longus tendon in his left groin.
“The scan confirmed our worst fears that the tendon has torn, which means he is out of the tournament,” she said.
Graham Henry added: “We are all obviously devastated for Daniel. He has worked so hard to be at a peak for Rugby World Cup.
“We will rally around him and pull together as a team.”
New Zealand are still fancied to win the World Cup, but Carter’s injury is a huge blow to the side.