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Daniel Carter

Beauden Barrett

Beauden Barrett

New Zealand take on Wales at Cardiff’s Millennium Stadium on Saturday with no Dan Carter on the teamsheet, young gun Beauden Barrett entrusted to drive the All Blacks around the park.

Barrett has spent most of the last two weeks simulating English and Scottish attackers as he missed out on selection for the 24-16 victory over the latter behind Carter and Colin Slade, while he came on for Aaron Cruden for the last quarter in the 24-21 win at Twickenham.

But coach Steve Hansen has had no qualms about throwing the 23-year-old Hurricanes playmaker a chance for a rare start in a match-up in which Wales’ last victory came way back in 1953.

“We’ve got total belief in him though, otherwise we wouldn’t have put him in there,” Hansen said, adding that a fly-half’s role was simple.

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Dan Carter

Dan Carter

All Blacks flyhalf Dan Carter was unimpressed by his scratchy return in the number 10 shirt against Scotland but grateful just to get through the 24-16 win unscathed.

Starting at flyhalf for the first time in a year after a season blighted by a broken leg, Carter was well below his best at Murrayfield, struggling with handling errors particularly in the opening exchanges before being replaced shortly after halftime.

“That first 20 (minutes) was pretty scratchy and there were a lot of mistakes from me personally which, if I get another chance, I’ll have to improve,” Carter told reporters.

“My option-taking probably wasn’t the best at times. But I was pretty pleased to be back out there playing again and I felt as the game went on I grew in confidence.”

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Dan Carter

Dan Carter

New Zealand flyhalf Daniel Carter is expected to return to the match day squad for their clash with Scotland on Saturday as he continues to work his way back from a broken leg.

Carter was the highest profile water boy in world rugby last Saturday when the All Blacks beat England 24-21 at Twickenham. The 32-year-old missed out on a place in the playing squad, ostensibly because coach Steve Hansen felt he had not played enough rugby.

Carter has barely played this year after taking a six-month sabbatical and breaking his leg in the Super Rugby final in August.

He came off the bench for 30 minutes against the United States on November 1 and assistant All Blacks coach Ian Foster said he would now get more playing time in their final two matches against Scotland on Saturday and Wales on November 22.

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Sonny Bill Williams

Sonny Bill Williams

Dan Carter

Dan Carter

New Zealand welcomed back superstars Dan Carter and Sonny Bill Williams for next month’s Northern Hemisphere tour, but dropped pivot Colin Slade, despite his heroics against Australia at the weekend.

Flyhalf Carter, the world’s most prolific international points scorer, has not played since breaking his leg in the Super Rugby Final in August, while Williams returns to the All Blacks after two seasons playing Rugby League in Australia.

There is also a return for Aaron Cruden, who has finally been forgiven for his late-night indiscretion in the latter stages of the Rugby Championship.

Coach Steve Hansen also recalled flank Victor Vito at the expense of Steven Luatua, and included promising scrumhalf Augustine Pulu as the only uncapped player in the squad for the four-Test tour.

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Graham Henry

TOP COACH: Former All Blacks coach Graham ‘Ted’ Henry believes Dan Carter, if fit, ought to be in the team heading to the next World Cup.

Sir Graham Henry would pick Dan Carter for the next World Cup though admits the veteran first-five now needs to earn his starting position ahead of two young “world class” alternatives in Aaron Cruden and Beauden Barrett.

Today is a year-to-the-day before the Rugby World Cup tournament began at Twickenham with a match between England and Fiji.

The defending champion All Blacks will launch their campaign two days later with a match against Argentina at Wembley Stadium.

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Colin Slade

Colin Slade, drafted into the All Blacks squad to replace Dan Carter, who is injured.

Colin Slade has been called into the All Blacks as injury cover for Dan Carter.

Carter fractured the fibula bone in his right leg during last weekend’s Super Rugby final loss to the Waratahs in Sydney and would be sidelined for one month. He would miss at least the first two Bledisloe Cup tests.

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Dan Carter

Dan Carter

All Black flyhalf Dan Carter will be sidelined for at least half of New Zealand’s Rugby Championship campaign after cracking a fibula in last weekend’s Super Rugby Final.

Carter left the field during the Crusaders’ 32-33 loss to the Waratahs in Sydney after an injury to his lower leg, which the franchise said was a hairline crack to the bone which would need at least four weeks to heal.

“A scan has revealed a small crack in his upper fibula. The size of the crack meant it was not originally picked up by an X-ray and required a scan to locate it,” the Crusaders said.

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New ZealandStar flyhalf Dan Carter has been returned to the All Blacks squad for this season’s Rugby Championships against Australia, South Africa and Argentina at the expense of his Crusaders’ teammate Colin Slade.

Carter, the world’s leading points-scorer in tests with 1,440, missed New Zealand’s June test matches against England while on a seven-months “sabbatical” from rugby during which he toured the world, attending events such as this year’s Academy Awards ceremony.

The 32-year-old returned to the Crusaders squad for its most-recent matches in Super Rugby, including Saturday’s semifinal against the Sharks, but has been playing at inside center to allow Slade to continue at flyhalf.

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Dan Carter

Dan Carter’s calm presence was crucial for the Crusaders as they set about dismantling the Sharks.

Dan Carter, refreshed after his break away from the game and energised by his performance against the Sharks and the opportunities of the week ahead, is promising more.

The All Blacks No10, excelling in his role at second-five for the Crusaders outside Colin Slade, expects an improvement from his team for the final against the Waratahs in Sydney on Saturday night, and, just as importantly for a winner-takes-all match, better accuracy from his goalkicking.

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Richie McCaw & Nemani Nadolo

STILL GOT IT: Crusaders and All Blacks veteran Richie McCaw celebrates a great night for the franchise with Fijian flier Nemani Nadolo.

New Zealand exhales. Turns out rumours of the decline of Richie McCaw and Daniel Carter have been greatly exaggerated.

McCaw and Carter both produced timely high-quality performances in Christchurch tonight as the Crusaders won through to their 11th – yes, 11th – Super Rugby final with a 38-6 dismantling of the Sharks. The Red ‘n Blacks are now 80 minutes away from their eighth championship – but notably a first since 2008.

On a night when Kieran Read illuminated the big occasion with a stellar demonstration of his remarkable quality, and Fijian find of the year Nemani Nadolo was equally as destructive, the old soldiers McCaw and Carter were not a million miles off the standard set by the best player in the world.

With Read, this sort of stuff is as predictable as it is enjoyable. He is a colossus of the game completely at the peak of his powers. His every minute on the field these days is to be savoured.

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Kieran Read

Kieran Read

Dan Carter

Dan Carter

Israel Dagg

Israel Dagg

Nemani Nadolo

Nemani Nadolo

Kieran Read, Dan Carter, Israel Dagg and Nemani Nadolo all return to the starting line-up for the Crusaders this weekend when they take on the Blues at AMI Stadium.

They are four of six new faces in the starting 15.

In the forwards, Ben Funnell and Owen Franks have taken starting spots in place of Corey Flynn and Nepo Laulala, who will be ready to inject some energy off the bench.

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Dan Carter

Dan Carter

Kieran Read

Kieran Read

The stage is set for Dan Carter and Kieran Read to take command of the Crusaders for the final rocky weeks of Super Rugby, but coaching staff are cagey about the duo’s prospects of starting against the resurgent Blues.

All Blacks flyhalf Carter, working his way back after a six-month sabbatical, and number eight Read came off the bench in the second half against the Hurricanes on Saturday but were powerless to stop their side falling to a 16-9 defeat.

The disappointing loss in Wellington has prompted calls for the pair to be thrown straight in against the Blues, who re-ignited their season with a confidence-boosting rout of the Western Force last week.

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Crusaders

Dan Carter

Dan Carter

Crusaders head coach Todd Blackadder has named his team to play the Hurricanes this weekend. The team will head to Wellington on Friday to prepare for the game at Westpac Stadium on Saturday night.

Eight players have returned from the All Blacks to make the team, including prop Wyatt Crockett who will pack down with Corey Flynn and Nepo Laulala in the front row. Owen Franks will provide front row cover alongside Joe Moody and Ben Funnell on the bench.

Locks Dom Bird and Sam Whitelock will pair up in the second row, and Matt Todd will wear the No 7 jersey with Richie McCaw ruled out with a broken rib. Jordan Taufua and Luke Whitelock join him in the loose forwards with Kieran Read and Jimmy Tupou named in the reserves.

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Dan Carter

Dan Carter

Dan Carter has played barely 120 minutes of club rugby since embarking on his sabbatical last November, but he has declared himself available for selection against the Hurricanes.

It is unlikely that the super-star flyhalf will be thrown straight into the mix. If selected, Carter would probably start off the bench.

Colin Slade, who was a member of the All Blacks squad for the recent series against England, is tipped to start at flyhalf Wellington as the Crusaders look to consolidate their position at the head of the New Zealand conference.

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New ZealandIt was not the perfect weekend for the All Blacks, with France running them close. This begs the question whether Daniel Carter is still the flyhalf maestro he once was.

All Blacks coach, Steve Hansen, says the All Blacks will be better against England compared to how they went against France.

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New ZealandDan CarterJeff Toomaga-AllenThe End Of Year Tours (Autumn Internationals) starts this coming weekend and this week we should see a lot of news in preparation of these Tours. The New Zealand NPC is over, the South African Currie Cup has a new Champion, now the International stage lights up again!

The New Zealand All Blacks believe Dan Carter will be ready to face Japan and has also sent an S.O.S. call to prop Jeff Toomaga-Allen as cover for Joe Moody who was injured in the NPC Final.

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New ZealandFlyhalf Daniel Carter will return to the New Zealand side for Saturday’s Rugby Championship clash against Argentina after recovering from a calf strain, while centre Francis Saili will make his test debut.

The 31-year-old Carter had been expected to play the first Rugby Championship match against Australia in Sydney last month but pulled up with the injury at training and missed the return fixture in Wellington.

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Dan CarterBeauden BarrettMa'a NonuThe All Blacks look set to welcome back star flyhalf Dan Carter from injury as they returned to training ahead of their Rugby Championship clash with the Pumas next weekend.

The bulk of the squad – excluding 10 players who were released for provincial duty – reassembled for their first training session in Hamilton on Sunday following a timely week-long break.

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Tom TaylorDan CarterBeauden BarrettThe latest flyhalf injury to hit the All Blacks seems a minor setback for coach Steve Hansen whose major issue appears to be who to cut when all players are fit.

Tom Taylor, New Zealand’s fourth-ranked flyhalf, has been sidelined for three weeks with a rib injury suffered late in Saturday’s 27-16 win over Australia where he made his Test debut with a confident display.

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Dan CarterNew Zealand’s star flyhalf Dan Carter will take an extended break from the game next year to ensure he is fit for the 2015 World Cup.

The 31-year-old, the highest points scorer in international rugby, is under contract with New Zealand until the end of 2015.

However, like All Black captain Richie McCaw – who sat out the first six months of this year – Carter has a clause allowing him to take a sabbatical.

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