All Blacks lose injured Carter for Japan clash

All Blacks fly-half Dan Carter has been forced to pull out of the All Blacks team to play Japan in their Rugby World Cup clash on Friday after failing to overcome a sore back.

Carter was named in the side announced early Wednesday despite being unable to train freely since the All Blacks opening match against Tonga last Friday.

“The key thing is that Daniel had been recovering well from a stiff lower back. However, he pulled up sore at an indoor training session this morning so we have made the decision not to risk him for the Japan match,” said team doctor Deb Robinson.

“We will aim to have him back fully training next week in preparation for the France Test.”

Carter has been replaced in the starting line up by Colin Slade for the match at Waikato stadium with halfback Jimmy Cowan coming on to the bench, and Piri Weepu providing cover at fly-half.

New Zealand (15-1)

Mils Muliaina; Cory Jane, Conrad Smith, Ma’a Nonu, Richard Kahui, Colin Slade, Andy Ellis; Adam Thomson, Richie McCaw (Captain), Jerome Kaino; Sam Whitelock, Brad Thorn; Owen Franks, Keven Mealamu, Tony Woodcock.

Replacements: Andrew Hore, John Afoa, Ali Williams, Victor Vito, Piri Weepu, Jimmy Cowan, Sonny Bill Williams.

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